Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, now is the perfect time to schedule a mammogram if you have put off scheduling one.

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network recommends that at 40 you should schedule a screening mammogram every year. It remains the best tool available in the early detection of breast cancer.

You should also have an annual clinical breast exam. This hands-on exam performed by a trained provider will give you invaluable knowledge about your breasts.

And don’t stop when you turn 50. About 75% of all breast cancer cases occur after the age of 50, so it is important that you continue to be vigilant about your breast health.

At Floyd, we use the phrase ‘Say Know to Breast Cancer,’ which points out how the absence of knowledge can impact a woman’s ability to not only understand her breast health but be in control of it.

At The Breast Center at Floyd we can provide a full range of diagnostic services aimed at keeping you healthy:

Clinical Breast Exam — Our specially trained providers will conduct a physical breast exam by hand during your visit. It is recommended that women as young as age 20 should receive a clinical breast exam every one to three years.

Mammogram — This low dose X-ray can detect any changes in the breast. An annual visit to The Breast Center will include a screening or diagnostic mammogram. Screening mammograms are designed for women with no symptoms of breast disease. Diagnostic mammograms are for women who have symptoms of breast disease, have detected a change in their breast tissue that requires further study or who have a history of breast disease.

GeniusTM 3D Mammography — This provides detailed, layer-by-layer images of breast tissue, allowing for better detection of breast cancer in women with dense breast tissue.

Genetic Testing and Counseling — Women who meet certain criteria are encouraged to undergo genetic testing and counseling to find out if they carry the BRCA1 or BRCA2 breast cancer gene mutation.

Breast Ultrasound — This procedure uses high-energy sound waves to form a picture of body tissue called a sonogram or ultrasonography. A breast ultrasound procedure is used to provide more information about an abnormality.

Breast MRI — Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is recommended for further evaluation of abnormalities detected by mammography and for finding early breast cancers not detected by other tests, especially in women at high risk for cancer and women with dense breast tissue.

Managing breast health is important no matter your age. An interactive website from Floyd offers women (and men) the opportunity to learn more about taking control of their breast health, from their 20s to their 60s and beyond.

The website, https://sayknow.floyd.org, allows a user to choose three breast health topics that are important to them or that they have questions about. Users will then get detailed information about those choices based on their age range. Topics include preventive care, breast pain, mammograms, clinical breast exams and genetic testing.

The Breast Center at Floyd also operates a Mobile Mammography Coach equipped with state-of-the-art, digital mammography equipment that serves women in Northwest Georgia and Northeast Alabama. The following link provides a schedule for the Mobile Mammography Coach and how to make an appointment: https://bit.ly/3uViUwc

Even with the significant challenges presented by COVID, the coach traveled 6,786 miles in 2020 to women in seven Georgia counties and two Alabama counties to make mammography and clinical breast exams convenient for them.

At Floyd, we understand the apprehension and anxiety that can build when waiting for imaging or pathology results. That is why we are committed to providing results in 24 hours, decreasing the stress that comes from waiting to hear from your provider. No other facility in the area offers this kind of peace of mind.

Aimee Griffin is the system director for Floyd Imaging Services.

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