Patient undergoing mammogram

Breast Cancer Screening & Diagnosis

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Why Choose Renown?

Should breast cancer be detected from your screening, your radiologist will present your case at our Breast Cancer Tumor Boards. This meeting gives the radiologist, cancer specialists, genetic specialists, nurse navigators, nurses, social workers and other providers the opportunity to review your case and develop a comprehensive treatment plan early in diagnosis. A registered oncology breast nurse navigator is available to serve as your ongoing resource from diagnosis through treatment and during survivorship.

The William N. Pennington Cancer Institute earned accreditation from National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC). Alongside the Renown Breast Health Center, we have skilled medical professionals with a multidisciplinary approach to breast cancer treatment and care, and the latest early detection technology to save lives.

Breast cancer begins when abnormal cells in the breast grow out of control forming tumors that can spread to surrounding tissue and move to other parts of the body. If initial screenings indicate that breast cancer may be present, your doctor will conduct further tests to confirm a diagnosis.

Talk to your doctor if you notice changes in your breasts, such as:

  • A lump or thickening in/near the breast, underarm or around the collarbone  
  • A change in the size or shape of the breast 
  • A change in the color or feel of the skin of the breast or nipple area (such as dimples, puckering, redness, swelling or scaliness) 
  • Clear or bloody nipple discharge  
  • Changes in the nipple, such as an open ulcer, a new inverting of the nipple or unusual tenderness

Screening Recommendations

For women, breast exams using mammography after 40 years old is recommended.

If you are 18 to 39 years old, talk to their primary care provider and ask for a Formal Risk Assessment to see if any screening is needed. Make sure your care provider is giving you a breast exam starting at age 25.

It’s also a good idea to be familiar with how your breasts look and feel so you can report any changes to your care provider.

If you are 75 and older, a mammogram is recommended every year if life expectancy is greater than five to seven years (based on age or multiple chronic conditions determined by your doctor).

Types of Breast Cancer Screening

  • New 3-D Digital Mammography
  • Whole Breast Ultrasound

Mammography plays an important role in early breast cancer detection because it can show signs of cancer too small or subtle to feel.

The 3-D mammography technology at Renown Breast Health Center can detect 41 percent more cancers and reduces the number of false-positive results compared to other mammography. This makes it easier to detect breast cancer.

3-D mammography provides better images allowing radiologists to see more abnormalities in the breast, helping doctors spot more cancers and avoid false positives especially if you have dense breast tissue. The digital images can also be lightened, darkened and enlarged in real-time, giving radiologists a better look at suspicious areas.

A whole breast ultrasound uses soundwaves to detect cancerous tumors in the breast without any radiation – it’s an ultrasound just like pregnant women receive. And the exam only takes about 20 minutes

We recommend these exams if your mammograms show dense breast tissue. Dense breast tissue and cancer both look white on a mammogram.

If your mammogram shows you have dense breasts (less fatty, more connective tissue) you may want to consider a whole breast ultrasound in addition to your mammogram.

Check with your insurance company to find out if whole breast ultrasounds are covered

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