Get Screened

Breast Screening

How does breast screening work?

Regular breast screening is one of the most important steps you can take for your breast health. It may also help improve the chances that if a cancer does occur, it will be found at an early, more treatable stage.

The goal of screening exams, such as mammograms, is to find cancers before they cause symptoms. Breast cancers found early are more likely to be small and early stage, while cancers that are not found until they can be felt tend to be larger and are more likely to have already spread beyond the breast.

The American Cancer Society outlines actions women may take for their breast health. Early detection of breast cancer helps increase the likelihood of successful treatment. They recommend that starting at age 40, women begin to have annual screening mammograms. They also recommend that all women perform self-breast exams and have a clinical breast exam, as part of regular health exams with a health professional.22

Visit the American Cancer Society website to view recommendations for early breast cancer detection in women without breast symptoms.  (Please note: by clicking this link you are leaving this GE Healthcare website.)

How should I perform a self-exam?

 

 

 

 


>> Download a breast self-exam pamphlet.


Take charge of your breast health.  Know Your Options.


Across the country, legislative efforts are helping increase awareness.


ABUS is proven to increase cancer detection and reduce missed breast cancers from mammograms in women with dense breasts.21


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Screening Dense Breasts

Mammography is more likely to detect cancer in a fatty breast than a dense breast.

As breast density increases, the ability of a mammogram to detect cancer is reduced. Mammography detects cancer better in fatty breasts. According to research, up to 40 percent12 of breast cancer goes undetected by mammography in women with dense breasts, as density hides the appearance of tumors.

>> Why do mammograms have difficulty imaging dense breasts?

Your doctor can determine your breast density from your mammogram. If you have dense breasts, you may need additional tests after your mammogram. Talk to your doctor about your breast density and ask if additional testing may be right for you.

Screening women with dense breasts

It is important to remember that mammography remains the gold standard for the early detection of breast cancer and all women should get regular mammograms as recommended by their doctor.

If you find out you have dense breast tissue, talk to your doctor about your specific risk and additional screening tests that might be appropriate. This may include Automated Breast Ultrasound (ABUS), which has been proven to increase cancer detection for women with dense breasts.

>> View a video about why mammography has difficulty reading dense breasts. (Please note: by clicking this link you are leaving this GE Healthcare website.)

>> View a Google hangout "Let’s Talk Dense Breasts". (Please note: by clicking this link you are leaving this GE Healthcare website.)

 

 

Nearly 60% of women believe there are things they can do to reduce their chances of getting breast cancer.15

See what questions you should be asking your doctor about breast density.


Forty seven percent of women don't know if they have dense breasts.15


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Breast Screening Exams

Early detection of breast cancer enables treatment to be started earlier in the course of the disease, possibly before it has spread.

You need to be your own health advocate and talk to your doctor about which imaging technologies would be right for you.

Initial breast screening exam types include:

Screening Mammography
A screening mammogram is a low dose X-ray picture of the breast and is ordered when no cancer symptoms are present. Screening mammograms usually involve two images of each breast, designed to help detect tumors that cannot be felt.

>> Download the GE mammography patient pamphlet.
>> View the Google hangout discussion "Let's talk mammography".  (Please note: by clicking this link you are leaving this GE Healthcare website.)

Automated Breast Ultrasound (ABUS)
This exam is used as an addition to mammography for screening women with dense breast tissue. ABUS helps view hidden cancers in dense breast tissue. The ABUS exam is relatively comfortable and takes about 15 minutes. The ABUS uses sound waves to produce images of your breast tissue.

>> Learn more about an InveniaTM ABUS exam.
>> Download the GE ABUS exam pamphlet. 
>> View a Google hangout "Let’s Talk Dense Breasts". (Please note: by clicking this link you are leaving this GE Healthcare website.)

MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
Used to evaluate high risk women, this exam uses magnetic pulses and radio waves to create a detailed picture of breast tissue and does not use radiation. The patient is injected with a contrast agent to help improve visibility of the blood flow and breast tissue. Typically, cancers will absorb more contrast agent due to the increased blood flow.

>> Download the MRI exam pamphlet.

Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (3D Mammography)
Tomosynthesis is a 3D mammogram where multiple views of the breast are taken and reconstructed into a 3D image.


Breast density actually DECREASES with age.17 Learn more about breast density.


ABUS is proven to increase cancer detection and reduce missed breast cancers from mammograms in women with dense breasts.21


89% of those with dense breasts don't know their breast density.17 Why is it important to know?


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Breast Imaging Technologies

Early detection of breast cancer enables treatment to be started earlier in the course of the disease, possibly before it has spread.

You need to be your own health advocate and talk to your doctor about which imaging technologies would be right for you.

Breast imaging tools used to investigate abnormalities:

Diagnostic Mammogram
This exam provides multiple views of the breast and may involve special compression plates to get a detailed looked at a specific area. These are ordered when a woman has a symptom of cancer or tissue that appears atypical on a screening mammogram.

Automated Breast Ultrasound (ABUS)
This exam is used as an addition to mammography for screening women with dense breast tissue. ABUS helps clinicians view hidden cancers in dense breast tissue. The ABUS exam is relatively comfortable and takes about 15 minutes.

>> Learn more about an InveniaTM ABUS exam.
>> Download the GE ABUS exam pamphlet.

Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (3D Mammography)
Tomosynthesis is a 3D mammogram where multiple views of the breast are taken and reconstructed into a 3D image.

Contrast Enhanced Spectral Mammography (CESM)
This test can help practitioners identify and locate lesions that may not be apparent on a standard mammogram. The patient receives an intravenous injection of contrast solution prior to the mammogram to help highlight blood vessels that could indicate that cancer is present.

>> Download the CESM GE SenoBright patient pamphlet.
>> Find a CESM GE SenoBright exam location.
>> Watch an exam video. (Please note: by clicking this link you are leaving this GE Healthcare website.)

Hand-held Ultrasound
Ultrasound exams use sound waves to image breast tissue. This approach is useful in investigating abnormalities seen on a mammogram and to guide biopsy procedures. Because ultrasound is not affected by breast density, it has been found to be a useful tool in detecting cancers in women with dense breasts with inconclusive mammograms.

>> Download the hand-held Ultrasound exam pamphlet.

MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
Used to further evaluate high risk women, this exam uses magnetic pulses and radio waves to create a detailed picture of breast tissue and does not use radiation. The patient is injected with a contrast agent to help improve visibility of the blood flow and breast tissue. Typically, cancers will absorb more contrast agent due to the increased blood flow.

>> Download the MRI exam pamphlet.

Molecular Breast Imaging (MBI)
Molecular Breast Imaging (MBI) uses nuclear medicine to image breast tissue. This exam requires and injection of a radioactive tracer agent, slight compression of the breast and radiation. MBI helps differentiate cancer cells from other structures of the breast, and highlights metabolic changes that indicate cell growth activity.

>> Download the Molecular Imaging exam pamphlet.




Learn steps you can take to reduce your risk at the American Cancer Society website. Please note: by clicking this link you are leaving this GE Healthcare website.


Regular mammograms are proven to reduce breast cancer mortality.15

3/4 of women consider their doctor their preferred source of information about breast health.15


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References

12. Mandelson et al. Breast density as a predictor of mammographic detection: comparison of interval- and screen-detected cancers. J Natl Cancer Inst 2000; 92:1081–1087.
15. Diagnosis Anxiety Working Mother Breast Screening Report: Working Mother Research Institute. September 2014.
17. GE Healthcare Breast Cancer Infographics, General Electric Company. Cancer Research UK: Breast Cancer Risk Factors. 2014.
21. PMA P110006.
22. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/breastcancer/moreinformation/breastcancerearlydetection/breast-cancer-early-detection-acs-recs

Downloads

Understanding Breast Self-Examination

PDF 76KB
  • Date Created: 9/19/2014
  • Document ID: DOC1024604

CESM Senobright Educational Pamphlet

PDF 1MB
  • Date Created: 9/18/2014
  • Document ID: DOC1446856

MRI Knowledge: Facts About Breast MRI

PDF 723KB
  • Date Created: 9/19/2014
  • Document ID: DOC1223868

Invenia ABUS Exam Brochure

PDF 240KB
  • Date Created: 9/18/2014
  • Document ID: DOC1522809

Mammography Knowledge: Know the Facts About Mammograms

PDF 1MB
  • Date Created: 9/19/2014
  • Document ID: DOC1024604

Ultrasound Knowledge: Facts About Breast Ultrasound

PDF 726KB
  • Date Created: 9/19/2014
  • Document ID: DOC1220960

Breast Density Quick Facts Sheet

PDF 454KB
  • Date Created: 9/23/2014
  • Document ID: DOC1415843

Find a Facility

Early detection of breast cancer enables treatment to be started earlier in the course of the disease, possibly before it has spread.

Advocate for your health and learn more about ABUS.

Use the GE Healthcare ABUS Locator application to find a facility in your area.

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