What’s New and What’s Greatest?

Breast cancer

screening tips differ with every individual. You would possibly surprise why your physician chooses sure ones over others.

Within the WebMD webinar “
Breast Cancer Screenings: What’s New and What’s Best?”
Julia E. McGuinness, MD, mentioned the newest breast most cancers screenings. She defined the rules and why they need to be tailor-made to every individual.

McGuinness is an assistant professor of drugs on the Columbia College Herbert Irving Complete Most cancers Heart. She focuses on caring for individuals who have breast most cancers and people at excessive danger of growing it.

“Probably the most vital issues is to study your individual breast most cancers danger components and your breast density,” she says. “These issues assist us decide the easiest way to display screen you for breast most cancers. It will additionally empower you to have that dialogue along with your physician about what your danger for breast most cancers is.”

Ballot Questions

It may be difficult deciding which 

breast cancer screening option

is finest for you. There are completely different causes you could must observe a sure protocol. McGuinness defined how to decide on the perfect screening for you.

A ballot of webinar viewers discovered 46% assist handle their breast most cancers danger by speaking with their physician about screening choices.

Query: I do that to assist select the perfect breast most cancers screening for me:

  • Discuss with my physician about which tips match me finest: 46%

  • Know my danger components for breast most cancers: 29%

  • Know my breast density: 18%

  • Think about my very own screening preferences: 7%

Why Is Breast Most cancers Screening Mandatory?

“Breast most cancers remains to be the most typical most cancers in ladies. We estimate that about 1 in 8 ladies might be identified with breast most cancers of their lifetimes,” says McGuinness. “This is the reason screening is so vital. The objective of breast most cancers screening applies to any most cancers screening: discover most cancers early.”

Breast most cancers screening can:

  • Discover most cancers earlier than you could have signs 

  • Enhance your probabilities of a remedy 

  • Decrease the price of remedy

  • Enable for remedies which have fewer unintended effects

Breast Most cancers Screenings Aren’t One-Measurement-Suits-All

There are just a few varieties of breast most cancers screening choices:

  • Screening mammograms

  • 3D mammograms or digital breast tomosynthesis

  • Breast ultrasound

  • Breast MRI


Most ladies ought to have a
each 1-2 years. However if you happen to’re at excessive danger for breast most cancers (which incorporates having 

dense breast tissue

), contemplate having further breast imaging carried out. This features a breast ultrasound or breast MRI.

“Discuss along with your physician about the perfect screening choices for you primarily based in your danger and the remainder of your medical historical past,” says McGuinness. “However remember to contemplate your individual preferences. You might have a voice in the way you wish to be screened. There’s not only one really helpful technique to display screen for breast most cancers.”

Viewer Questions

How are you going to handle claustrophobia throughout mammograms?

Can mammograms trigger costochondritis?

If in case you have dense breasts and yearly sonograms, why do you want mammograms?

We cope with
so much throughout breast MRIs. One factor that we use in these conditions, as a result of they’re longer exams, are drugs to assist with claustrophobia.

For mammograms, it is trickier as a result of they’re shorter exams and so they’re extra generally carried out. We do not essentially wish to give everybody anxiousness medicine for every examination. 

Discuss with the mammogram technicians or your physician about what the method goes to appear like. That method, you realize precisely what you are going into whenever you get there. There are completely different ways in which the techs can decrease your ache or discomfort.

is irritation in your ribs or the tissues subsequent to your ribs. It may trigger chest ache, particularly if you happen to’re transferring or taking a deep breath. Your breasts are instantly over your ribcage. For those who’re being squeezed right into a mammographic machine, you can be touched by the machine close to your ribs.

It’s not frequent, however each individual’s physique is completely different. Some people who find themselves skinny and do not have a variety of extra padding, or fats, to guard them might need a bit of little bit of ache.

If this occurs, inform your physician and the tech subsequent time to allow them to modify issues.

If in case you have dense breasts and have sonograms yearly, you continue to want mammograms. Ultrasounds or sonograms of the breast aren’t excellent at detecting breast most cancers on their very own. Mammograms are simpler at detecting most cancers. We by no means advocate ultrasounds alone.


Which screenings are finest for these at excessive danger of breast most cancers however allergic to MRI distinction dyes?

How do breast screenings apply to people who find themselves transgender?

How do breast implants and breast discount surgical procedure have an effect on effectiveness and suggestions of breast most cancers screenings?

We’d by no means have an individual with such an allergy undergo an MRI for screening. If there is no various, we give them medicine to assist the allergy (if it is not extreme) to allow them to nonetheless undergo it. However for screening functions, we would not put anybody in danger in that scenario. On this case, your options are mammograms and ultrasounds. We’d do a mixture, since you’ll be able to’t get the MRI.

Sooner or later, CAT scans for breast screening is likely to be an possibility.

There are not any particular tips in breast most cancers screening for
transgender people. For trans men who still have intact breast tissue, they should still continue screening.

On the flip side, it’s a little harder for us to figure out what to do for trans women. They’re receiving a lot of female hormones, like estrogen, which theoretically could boost their risk of breast cancer. But we don’t have good guidelines on what to do yet, since they don’t have the same degree of breast tissue as cisgender women. 

Talk with your doctors. Generally, we suggest that if you were assigned female at birth and have transitioned, you should continue mammograms unless you’ve had bilateral mastectomies where there’s no breast tissue left.

We also recommend women who had breast augmentation surgery (either implants or breast reduction surgery) get annual mammograms.

Having such surgery can leave scar tissue, and that can make it harder for radiologists to fully read your mammograms. We certainly don’t tell people not to get these surgeries for that reason. But you might end up having more false positive results.

There are no guidelines saying that everyone who had these surgeries should get breast MRIs. But those can take a better look at your remaining breast tissue or the breast tissue that’s been pushed up by an implant.


Make sure you talk with your surgeon and your primary doctors, continue breast cancer screening, and be aware that you might get a lot more false positives.

At what age can someone with normal mammograms and no family history of breast cancer safely stop having mammograms?

Is there a connection between osteoporosis and breast cancer in postmenopausal women?

Do women who’ve never given birth have a higher risk of breast cancer?

With mammograms, it’s all a risk-benefit analysis. The guidelines say age 75. But if people are healthy and living longer, they can continue mammograms after that.

If you’re sick with other medical conditions – like something that’s going to shorten your life span and you’re going through a lot of other treatments — we often stop screening mammograms. Because the likelihood that breast cancer will become a danger to your health is less likely than another medical condition doing so. It’s a tricky balance. Talk to your doctor about what’s right for your specific situation.

in postmenopausal individuals occurs as a result of, after menopause, your estrogen ranges drop when your ovaries cease producing it. Estrogen helps bone well being. However there is no direct hyperlink between osteoporosis and breast most cancers danger. 

If in case you have osteoporosis and have decrease estrogen, it doesn’t suggest your danger of breast most cancers is decrease or vice versa.

Nonetheless, by no means having youngsters, or having your first youngster after the age of 30, is a
risk factor
for breast most cancers. The reason being that whenever you undergo being pregnant, your physique has a break within the typical cycle of estrogen manufacturing you could have each month whenever you’re getting a interval.

So having that 9-month break in typical estrogen manufacturing is what lowers your danger for growing breast most cancers. If in case you have a being pregnant at an earlier age, like in your 20s and even in your teenagers, that earlier break means you would possibly enhance your breast most cancers danger. 

We shouldn’t make selections about youngsters primarily based on our breast most cancers danger. However we will incorporate that into our danger calculations. It isn’t a big danger issue for breast most cancers. However when you’ve got different main danger components, this small issue will be what bumps you into the high-risk class the place you’d really should be screened otherwise.