October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and while breast cancer is still the most common cancer among women, technology is making the screening process easier than ever.
New this year, patients have the opportunity to self-schedule their mammogram appointments through Patient Online Services, Mayo Clinic’s patient portal. After the patient’s care team sends an email with a go-ahead to schedule the screening, the patient can log in and choose the date, time and location that works best.
In addition, patients who visit Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin and Albert Lea have greater access to enhanced technology for breast cancer screenings. Breast tomosynthesis (3D mammography machines) enables physicians to see cancers earlier, especially in women with denser breast tissue. The technology also has shown to reduce the recall rate, meaning patients are less likely to be called back for a second screening.
When used for breast cancer screening, 3D mammogram machines create 3D and 2D mammogram images. Studies show that combining 3D mammograms with standard mammograms reduces the need for additional imaging and slightly increases the number of cancers detected during screening.
Breast cancer prevention is also important. Some risk factors, such as family history, can’t be changed. However, these lifestyle changes can lower your risk:
Visit mayoclinichealthsystem.org for more information.
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