Mammograms Save Lives

Niki Constaninou, MD

“Mammograms save lives because of early detection, often minimizing the need for extensive surgery and chemotherapy,” reports Niki Constantinou, MD, radiologist and Asst. Professor of Radiology, Case Western Reserve University.

“Screening mammograms detect approximately 2-7 breast cancers per 1000 screened and should begin annually at age 40.

“If one is at high risk for breast cancer due to family history or other factors, routine screening may need to commence sooner.

“Knowing one’s breast density is also important as the sensitivity of mammograms decreases with increased breast density. Women with dense breast tissue may benefit from supplemental screening to be performed in addition to mammograms.”

Supplemental screening options include the addition of tomosynthesis or “3-D mammography” to the standard 4-view mammogram which detects an additional 0.5-2.7 cancers per 1000 screened and fast breast MRI which detects 15-18 additional cancers per 1000 screened.

If you have concerns about your breast cancer risk or have dense breast tissue, talk to your doctor about risk assessment and the pros and cons of supplemental screening.

Dr. Constantinou practices medicine at UH St. John Medical Center in Westlake. (440) 827-5140.

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