Breast Cancer Screening Exams

Breast cancer exam

Early detection is key in the treatment of breast cancer.  Therefore, your OBGYN in Des Moines, Iowa suggests you conduct routine self-examinations in addition to the annual breast exams they provide.

A mammogram – an x-ray of the breast – is the most common screening test conducted by Dr. Valone, your Des Moines OBGYN to find tumors that may be too small to feel during your physical exam.  This test can also determine if there are abnormal cells that may result in invasive cancer.

If you are over the age of 40 and have no family history of breast cancer, annual or biannual mammograms are recommended.  If, however, a close family member has had breast cancer, you should have one prior to the age of 40.

Because women younger than 50 years of age have denser breast tissue, and because tumors can appear as a white mass on a mammogram, they are often harder to locate.

Your Des Moines OB GYN may decide to conduct a clinical breast exam by carefully examining the breasts and underarms to locate anything that may seem unusual.  (Because you know how your breasts usually look and feel, it’s also important that you conduct self-exams to identify any changes that may occur.)

Your Des Moines OBGYN may conduct an MRI when treating a woman with a high risk of breast cancer as determined by gene changes, family history and certain genetic syndromes.  Using a magnet and radio waves, and MRI will create a series of detailed pictures of the inside of your body. Although this test can typically detect breast cancer more often than mammograms do, false abnormal results are common.

We want to be your Des Moines gynecologist; call our office today at (515) 225-7201 to set up an appointment or to talk to any of our highly qualified staff members. We look forward to serving you.

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