Breast cancer screening available close to home

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

LEWISBURG, Tenn. — Breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer among women in the United States. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) estimates that more than 250,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in 2017. Marshall Medical Center (MMC) recommends annual screenings to provide the best chance of finding breast cancer in its early stages when treatment can be more successful.

Women should be aware of how their breasts normally look and feel and report any changes to a health professional as soon as they are noticed. The most common sign of breast cancer is a new lump or thickening in the breast or underarm area. Other signs of breast cancer may include:

• A change in the size or shape of the breast

• Skin irritation or dimpling

• Breast pain

• Nipple pain or the nipple turning inward

• Redness, scaliness, or thickening of the nipple or breast skin

• Fluid other than breast milk from the nipple

Mammograms capture digital images of the breast for analysis by radiologists. Marshall Medical Center, part of Maury Regional Health, recommends screening mammograms on a yearly basis for women age 40 and older.

“A mammogram scans the breast tissue for any changes or abnormal areas. Areas that need further examination are often detected by a mammogram before symptoms appear,” said MMC Imaging Director Christa Crawford.

If an abnormality is found during a mammogram or physical exam, it may be further examined using ultrasound imaging. In the event that a lump is confirmed through imaging, the next course recommended by your physician may be a biopsy—a procedure to obtain a sample of tissue. If a biopsy confirms cancer is present, you and your physician will discuss the best course of treatment—which can include surgery such as lumpectomy or mastectomy. Following removal of the cancerous tissue, you may need chemotherapy, radiation therapy or a combination of the two treatments. You and your physician would choose an oncologist who specializes in treating patients with cancer.

The Maury Regional Health multidisciplinary breast center team includes imaging specialists, pathologists, breast and reconstructive surgeons, oncologists and breast health navigators. For those facing a breast cancer diagnosis or survivors of breast cancer, a monthly breast cancer support group meets at Maury Regional Medical Center in Columbia. The group meets on the third Monday of each month at 5 p.m. in the Women’s Center located in the Maury Regional Pavilion. For more information, call 931.540.4166.

Marshall Medical Center offers screening mammograms without a physician’s order. For more information or to schedule an appointment for a mammogram at any Maury Regional Health facility, including Marshall Medical Center, call 931.380.4044.