Early Detection is Key to Beating Breast Cancer
Story by Michael K. Boylan, Piedmont Healthcare

One in eight women will develop breast cancer during her lifetime, making it the single most common type of cancer among women. Eighty percent of these women do not have any of the reported risk factors, other than being female and aging.  The key to surviving breast cancer is early diagnosis, and a mammogram is the first line of defense against breast cancer and remains the most reliable diagnostic tool for doctors.

“A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast which can detect abnormalities in breast tissue,” said Mio Yanagisawa, M.D., a breast surgeon at Piedmont Fayette Hospital. “In addition to getting an annual mammogram, women should also do regular self-exams of their breasts and report any changes to their primary care physician.”

Piedmont Fayette offers a full complement of breast screenings and other tests to help detect breast cancer early. Mammogram technology has greatly improved, and Piedmont Fayette offers the latest in mammography imaging, including digital mammography and tomosynthesis 3-dimensional (3D) breast imaging. Digital mammography uses compression and x-rays to create clear, 2-dimensional images of inside the breast. Tomosynthesis 3-dimensional breast imaging produces a series of contiguous, thin slices of breast tissue allowing doctors to examine breast tissue one layer at a time.

The Women’s Imaging Center at Piedmont Fayette is recognized as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology, offering comprehensive breast health services including breast ultrasound, breast MRI, stereotactic guided breast biopsy, ultrasound guided biopsy, and MRI guided breast biopsy.

Genetic counseling is also available for patients who may be high-risk due to family history. The Thomas F. Chapman Family Cancer Wellness Center at Piedmont Fayette offers complimentary support services and programs to assist patients and their loved ones during treatment and recovery. The program, MyFit RX, which is offered at the Piedmont Wellness Center, helps patients get stronger so that they are better able to tolerate treatment and recovery.

“This is a big asset for our patients. We’re seeing good results and making a positive difference in how they feel and how well they recover,” said Dr. Yanagisawa.

“This is a big asset for our patients. We’re seeing good results and making a positive difference in how they feel and how well they recover,” said Dr. Yanagisawa.

“The diagnosis is always scary, but breast cancer is no longer a death sentence in any way, shape, or form,” said Dr. Yanagisawa. “If it is caught early, a person’s survival rate is nearly 99 percent.”

To learn more about oncology services or to schedule a mammogram, visit piedmont.org/cancer.

Support National Breast Cancer Awareness Month – Schedule Your Mammogram!

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Southern Woman wants you to take action to spread the word about breast and other cancers. The most common kind of cancer for women (except for skin cancers), breast cancer will strike about one in eight women in the United States at some point. While this statistic is disturbing, the good news is most women will survive a breast cancer diagnosis if the disease is found and treated early. Early detection starts with monthly self-exams and a regularly scheduled mammogram. Women who are 35 years old should schedule a baseline mammogram, and those over 40 should schedule a screening mammogram each year.

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, known for its pink ribbon theme, supports campaigns to highlight early detection, educate people on breast cancer risk factors and raise funds for breast cancer research.

Did You Know…

    • Breast cancer accounts for about 30% of all new cancer cases in women each year in the United States.
    • Black women are most likely to die from breast cancer than women of any other racial or ethnic group. Experts believe that it’s partially because about one in five Black women is diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer, more than any other racial or ethnic group.
    • About 85% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer. These occur due to genetic mutations that happen as a result of the aging process and life in general, rather than inherited mutations.

(Statistics provided by Breastcancer.org)

What You Can Do…

    • Know Your Risk – Tell your doctor about any family history of breast cancer.
    • Get Screened – Schedule your mammogram each year.
    • Check Yourself – Do a monthly self-exam and let your doctor know if something does not feel “normal” to you.
    • Support Cancer Research – Get involved and support local fundraising efforts to enhance research of breast cancer and other cancers.

Get involved…

Drive to End Cancer Golf Tournament to support Piedmont Fayette’s Comprehensive Cancer Fund
Monday, October 2, 2023
Braelinn Golf Club

For information, email paige.muh@piedmonth .org or call 770-719-5758.