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El Paso Directory - Breast Cancer Awareness

What is surprising is that a adult woman today has a 1 in 8 lifetime risk of developing breast cancer. Yet, breast cancer is one of the most easily treated forms of cancer if caught early enough. There are several options for early detection which include self examination, physical exam by a physician, a mammogram and breast MRI and even a breast biopsy. Widespread use of mammography to detect lumps and even pre-cancerous cellular changes is regarded as one of the most successful innovations in modern public health that has helped with the fight against breast cancer. The National Cancer Institute recommends that women age 40 or older receive a mammogram every 1 to 2 years and for high risk women this decreases to every year and include a breast MRI. As a women ages, her chances for breast cancer increase. Yet, in El Paso there are still over 25% of women ages 45 to 54 years of age that have never received a mammogram.

Recently an important study called DMIST (Digital Mammographic Imaging Screening Trial), sponsored by the National Cancer Institute and published online by the New England Journal of Medicine that looked at different types of mammograms; digital vs. film screen. DMIST showed that 65% of women would benefit from the use of digital mammography over the tradition film screen mammography (see DMIST). These women are;

  • under age 50 (regardless of level of breast tissue density)
  • of any age, with heterogeneously (very dense) or extremely dense breast tissue.
  • or pre or perimenopausal women of any age (defined as women who had a last menstrual period within 12 months of their mammograms).

In film mammography, which has been used for over 35 years, the image is created directly on a film. A major limitation of film mammography is the film itself. Once a film mammogram is obtained, it cannot be significantly altered; if the film is underexposed, for example, contrast is lost and cannot be regained. Digital mammography takes an electronic image of the breast and stores it directly in a computer. Digital offers some obvious advantages beyond the higher sensitivity for certain groups of patients. Images made on a computer are easier to store and move from one medical office to another. It's similar to having a digital camera vs. a 35mm camera.

At present, only 8 percent of the mammography units in the United States have digital systems, whereas approximately 40 percent of women undergoing screening mammography have dense breasts. It will be impossible for all women who have dense breasts to receive digital mammograms, at least for the near future. As more digital mammography systems become available, more women in the groups who are likely to benefit from digital mammography will have access to this technology.

What does National Cancer Institute (NCI) recommend for screening mammograms?
NCI recommends that:

  • Women in their 40s should be screened every one to two years with mammography
  • Women aged 50 and older should be screened every one to two years.
  • Women who are at higher than average risk of breast cancer should seek expert medical advice about whether they should begin screening before age 40 and the frequency of screening Click her for more information about being at High Risk

A woman is considered high risk  for breast cancer if;

  • Women who have very dense breasts. Women who have breast implants.
  • Women who have a personal history of breast cancer or who have 1st degree relatives with breast cancer.
  • Women who have had radiation therapy to the chest between ages 10 and 30 for lymphoma or leukemia.
  • Women who have BRCA1 or BRCA2 genetic defects or 1st degree relatives with those defects .
  • Women with a new diagnosis of breast cancer in one breast to determine if there is cancer in the other breast.
  • Women who have cancer in an axillary lymph gland with out obvious primary.


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New Horizons Pediatrics - El Paso - Dr. Rodin Mendoza-Castillo M.D. provides pediatric services for newborn to 20 Years Old, Walk-Ins Welcome, Accept Most Insurance, Accept Medicaid, ADHD Evaluations.

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Alchemy Karate - El Paso - Many parents bring their children into the martial arts for life skills such as: confidence, discipline, listening skills, respect and so much more


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