If scheduling your yearly mammogram tends to slip off your to-do list, you’re certainly not alone. But the fact remains, you should make this invaluable exam a priority. According to the government’s Office on Women’s Health, a high quality mammogram plus a clinical breast exam performed by a doctor is the most effective way to detect breast cancer early.

Schedule your mammogram today by calling the Shady Grove Breast Center at 301-590-8999 or Washington Adventist Hospital at 301-891-5053.

Research shows that early detection saves lives. Women diagnosed with breast cancer at stage 1 (a low severity) have a nearly 90 percent survival rate, according to the American Cancer Society; women with stage 4 breast cancer (the highest severity), however, have a 15 percent chance of living another five years.

Who Needs a Mammogram?

The American Cancer Society recommends annual mammograms for women starting at age 40. In addition, a clinical breast exam should be given about every three years for women in their 20s and 30s and every year for women age 40 and older. Starting in their 20s, women should also conduct breast self-exams. Doctors may recommend some women with a family history of breast cancer, a genetic tendency or other factor be screened with MRI in addition to a mammogram.

“I believe every woman needs a screening protocol tailored to her individual health needs,” says Sonya Kella, MD, breast radiologist and medical director of the Shady Grove Breast Center. “Risk assessment and breast density evaluation play key roles in establishing a new standard of care. Women should talk to their doctors about risk factors and the right tests.”

What’s All This Talk About ‘Digital’?

Mammograms can detect changes in the breast that may be early signs of cancer but are too small or subtle to be felt. State-of-the-art digital mammography equipment uses high-resolution computers and specially designed digital detectors to produce the highest-quality images.

“With digital mammography, doctors can adjust the brightness, change contrast and zoom in for close-ups of specific areas of interest,” says Kristine Dettloff, MD, breast radiologist at the Shady Grove Breast Center. “Compared to older film-based systems, digital mammography can greatly reduce the need for image retakes, which potentially saves patients additional time in the exam room and reduces exposure to X-rays.”

COMING SOON: Adventist HealthCare will expand services in the community with the opening of the Adventist HealthCare White Oak Breast Center this fall under the leadership of Sonya Kella, MD, and Kristine Dettloff, MD. This full-service facility integrates screenings, diagnosis and treatment into one convenient location for our community. It’s just one more reason to choose Adventist HealthCare to help you live life well.