Fairfield Ledger

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Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 23, 2017

Early detection key to breast cancer survival

Oct 17, 2016

Editor’s note: The monthly To Your Heath column is a venue for Jefferson County Health Center to provide health information that will benefit The Fairfield Ledger’s readers.

To suggest ideas for future articles or to obtain information, call Jefferson County Health Center community relations manager Wanda Bagby at 469-4198.


It is once again October and we begin to see all of the pink colors that are displayed and worn. We need to remember that “Pink” serves a purpose. The Pink Ribbon reminds us to take care of ourselves by getting a breast examination and a mammogram.

Jefferson County Health Center offers the latest in advanced technology in the fight against breast cancer by offering 3D Mammography services (also known as breast tomosynthesis).

How is 3D Mammography better?

Conventional 2D mammograms provide doctors with a 2D image to evaluate the breast. This can be limiting due to overlapping layers of tissue, which can sometimes produce unclear results, false alarms, or worse – cancer being missed.

3D exams deliver a series of detailed breast images, allowing doctors to better evaluate your breasts layer by layer. These exams are FDA approved, and over 100 clinical studies have shown that by using this technology, doctors are able to screen for breast cancer with much greater accuracy – regardless of a woman’s age or breast density. Greater accuracy means better breast cancer detection and a reduced chance of being called back for additional screenings.

With the latest low dose software, our 3D Mammography exam delivers a low dose of radiation, well within FDA guidelines, that is comparable to a 2D mammogram.

There currently is a great deal of confusion and controversy over the recommended guidelines for mammography. Aligning with the American College of Radiology and the Society of Breast Imaging, Jefferson County Health Center and Radiology Consultants of Iowa continue to recommend yearly screening mammography starting at age 40 for women with normal health risk for breast cancer continuing annually until age 75. After 75 years of age, continued mammography screening is based on the patient’s health status.

If a woman of any age notices any changes in her breasts, she should contact her health care provider as soon as possible for consultation. Additionally, if there is an increased risk for breast cancer, such as a family history, consult your physician about when to begin Mammography or other testing.

Although mammography is the most accurate method for early detection, not all cancers are found through mammography or ultrasound. A thorough examination includes a combination of mammography, clinical breast exam by your health care provider, and regular monthly breast self-examination. Routine mammograms should be performed based on your age and risk factors. Your personal physician or health care provider can offer specific recommendations for you.

One in eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. This means that nearly everyone in the U.S. will be affected in one way or another. You may be victim, a survivor, or a supporter as a friend or family member.

Early detection is the key to survival. Do more than just “wear” pink: perform monthly self-breast exams, get an annual clinical breast exam (with your doctor) and an annual mammogram.


Linda Marlay, R.T. (R), is the Radiology Department manager at Jefferson County Health Center.

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