Breast Cancer Screening
Are you being screened for breast cancer? If not, should you be getting screened?
Different organizations have different recommendations on screening, which doesn’t help make your decision any easier!
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends clinical breast exams annually starting at age 25 and mammograms every 1-2 years starting at age 40. The American Cancer Society recommends annual mammograms from 40-54 and every 2 years starting at age 55yo. The US Preventive Services Task Force recommends every 2 years at 50, and “individualize” prior to that. So what’s a woman supposed to do??
Talk with your GYN doctor! This is a major area we address at your annual GYN exam. We will assess your risk factors -- family history, reproductive risk factors, hormone therapy, implants, breast density, and more -- and together we’ll make a plan for breast cancer screening.
What about the role of genetic testing?
If you have a strong family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer, you may be a candidate for genetic testing for genes that increase your risk of hereditary cancer. This information can guide screening decisions -- you may need MRIs in addition to mammograms for example -- and treatments that can reduce your risk, such as Tamoxifen or even mastectomy. We offer genetic testing in the office and are happy to review your history to see if you are a candidate.
The COVID caveat (there’s always one these days!) -- since the COVID vaccine is given in the arm and activates the immune system, there have been some findings of swollen lymph nodes on mammogram after COVID vaccination. It is now recommended that you delay your screening mammogram for 6-10 weeks after your second dose of the COVID vaccine, to avoid a falsely alarming result.
We are continuing to see patients in the office and through telehealth. We are here for your concerns! You can schedule online at www.LakeOswegoGYN.com or call 503-908-1646. Follow us on Instagram @Lake_Oswego_GYN
Dr. Zaander, Dr. Salisbury, and Staff at Lake Oswego GYN