Clinic uses new technology, easier access to mammograms to fight breast cancer

Clinic uses new technology, easier access to mammograms to fight breast cancer

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  With more than 246,000 new cases of breast cancer that will be diagnosed this year alone, it is hard to find someone who's life has not been touched in some way by the disease. Early detection is key to survival and screening mammography is instrumental in that process.

"Screening mammography helps us to detect breast cancer at a point before the patient or the patient's physician can feel it as a lump or a mass," said radiologist Dr. Laura Dean from the Cleveland Clinic.

According to Dean, the Clinic is now using all digital techniques for mammography, with the new technology making it easier to detect breast cancer. 

"We have much better resolution," she said. "We're actually seeing through the breast tissue and it gives us a better chance to detect changes in the tissue much earlier."

Dean says 3D mammograms also help detect tissue changes sooner, especially for specific women.

"A lot of younger women who have that dense breast tissue we hear a lot about in the news," she said. "Those women might be especially helped by 3D mammograms or breast tomosynthesis."

Dean says women should do self-exams monthly. At age 40, all women should have their baseline mammogram screening, and then once a year following that. For those with a family history of breast cancer, or genetic indicators, early and extra screenings may be needed.

Luckily, the process of getting a mammogram just got a whole lot easier: the Cleveland Clinic is now offering walk-in options. 

"At some of our family health centers, you can actually walk-in without a doctor's order and get a mammogram," said Dean.

Those walk-in clinics are in five locations: Brunswick, Strongsville, Independence, Twinsburg and Willoughby Hills.

The screenings are available Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon.

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