Submitted by Justin Boatsman, M.D.

Breast Imaging and Intervention

South Texas Radiology

October is a month to raise awareness about breast cancer – to remind men and women that despite many advances in treatment and understanding the disease, breast cancer is still the second leading cause of cancer death in women.  After skin cancer, it is the most diagnosed cancer in women.  One out of every eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, and most new cases do not have a significant family history of breast cancer.  With these statistics, it does not take long to find a sister, mother, wife, daughter, or friend who has been impacted.

Early detection remains a cornerstone to saving lives. The American Cancer Society, the American College of Radiology, and several other organizations recommend screening mammograms annually beginning at age 40 for as long as a woman is still in good health.  There are a growing number of tools in the breast imaging arsenal. Currently, a screening mammogram is the only test shown to decrease mortality due to breast cancer.

While a screening mammogram will detect most breast cancers, a small percentage cannot be detected.  A recent negative mammogram should not prevent a woman from seeking medical attention for a new breast abnormality, especially a new lump, pain, skin change, or nipple discharge. In the setting of symptoms such as these, your provider or radiologist may request additional tests including an ultrasound.

Connally Memorial Medical Center has recently implemented a new, state-of-the-art digital mammography system.  Routine mammography remains the standard of care.  If you are a woman over 40 or have a significant family history of breast or ovarian cancer, contact your provider or Connally Memorial Medical Center to find out how to schedule your screening.  One thing is certain; mammograms cannot find cancer and detect it early if women do not have them.

For the next two weeks, Connally Memorial Medical Center will be offering $50 mammograms for self-pay patients with no insurance. Call (830) 393-1317 to schedule your mammogram today. Physician’s order is required.