Even if you have already visited your local hospital for a mammogram before, you may have some questions about this type of exam. Mammograms, such as those available at MountainView Hospital , are one type of exam that can be helpful in detecting cancerous changes of the breasts. Mammograms are a type of X-ray exam that use a low dose of radiation to produce images of the internal structures of the body.
What Are Screening and Diagnostic Mammograms?
Screening and diagnostic mammograms are performed in much the same way, except that a radiologist performing a diagnostic mammogram may take more images from various angles. A screening mammogram is one that is performed on a regular basis, despite the absence of any potential breast cancer symptoms. Typically, this type of mammogram involves taking two X-ray images of each of the breasts. In contrast, diagnostic mammograms are performed after a patient or a doctor has detected possible signs of breast cancer . A woman might also be referred for a diagnostic mammogram if she has had abnormal breast changes detected by a screening mammogram.
What Does the Radiologist Look For?
The radiologist will carefully examine X-ray images for any abnormalities, including differences from one breast to the other and changes from past mammograms. Each image is examined for signs of a mass or lump. Not all lumps are cancerous. The ones that are cancerous tend to have an irregular shape. The radiologist will also check for signs of calcification, or deposits of calcium. Macrocalcifications, or large deposits, are not typically indicative of cancer. Small deposits, or microcalcifications, may indicate that an area is comprised of rapidly dividing cells. Rapid cell division may be characteristic of cancerous changes.
What Happens If My Results Are Positive?
If the radiologist detects abnormalities, this does not necessarily mean that cancer is present. It is possible to have a false positive result. Additional tests will be needed, such as a breast ultrasound, MRI, or biopsy.
MountainView Hospital provides compassionate breast care services for women throughout the Las Vegas area, including digital mammography and minimally invasive breast biopsies. Our community hospital is also proud to provide exceptional stroke care, emergency care, and bariatric weight loss procedures. Patients can contact a registered nurse at our hospital by calling (702) 233-5300.
Since 1996, the dedicated staff members of MountainView Hospital have maintained the highest standards of quality care for our patients. We are a community-minded hospital that strives to promote wellness among our neighbors in Las Vegas. One of the ways our hospital supports our community is by joining in the fundraising efforts of Light the Night. Patients, family members, and staff members are encouraged to join in our efforts for this worthy cause.
What Is Light the Night?
The Light the Night Walk is a fundraising initiative that benefits the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The funds raised through these walks go toward the fight against blood cancers. The Light the Night Walk takes place every fall. Almost 200 communities across the country, including Las Vegas, participate. Walkers come together and carry illuminated lanterns during these evening walks. The length of the walks varies from city to city, but it usually takes participants less than one hour to complete a walk at a leisurely pace.
How Is the Money Used?
The funds that are raised by the team at MountainView Hospital and other teams across the country directly fund crucial research initiatives to develop innovative therapies and treatments for blood cancers. The funds also support patient advocacy services to improve patients’ access to treatments. Through the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, blood cancer patients have access to free support programs, events, and educational materials, along with one-on-one patient assistance at the organization’s Information Resource Center. Last year, walkers raised more than $18.8 million to support blood cancer patients and the search for new treatments.
The Light the Night team at MountainView Hospital invites Las Vegas residents to join our team for the upcoming walk on November 7, 2015. You can visit the fundraising page for our hospital to join as a walker or to donate to the team Sarah Cannon Blood Cancer Network. For general information about our hospital services, including emergency care, stroke care, and robotic surgery, you can contact our Consult-A-Nurse line at (702) 233-5300.
There are a few different breast cancer screening guidelines, such as those issued by the American Cancer Society and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). It’s important to bear in mind that these are only general guidelines and do not provide patient-specific guidance. For recommendations that are personalized to your unique health history, you can consult a doctor at your local hospital. MountainView Hospital , conveniently located in Las Vegas, urges women to take a proactive approach to protect their wellness.
The guidelines issued by the American Cancer Society recommend that women begin having screening mammograms at the age of 40. It further recommends that women schedule an annual screening mammogram for as long as they are in sound overall health.
Clinical Breast Exam
Clinical breast exams, which can be performed by a primary care physician, are recommended for women in their 20s and 30s. It’s advisable to have this exam every three years. Beginning in a woman’s 40s, she should have a clinical breast exam once per year. During this exam, the healthcare provider gently palpates the breasts to check for lumps or other abnormalities .
Starting in her 20s, a woman may want to perform breast self-examinations once per month. To perform a breast self-exam, lie down with a pillow under your left shoulder and tuck your left arm under your head. Using the fingers of your right hand, move in little circles at varying levels of pressure to check for lumps in the left breast. Repeat this for the opposite breast with your left hand. Then, stand upright in front of a mirror and place your hands on your hips. Check for any changes in the appearance of your breasts, including in the size, shape, and skin. Then, raise your arm slightly and check for lumps in the underarm area. Repeat this with your other arm.
For your next screening or diagnostic mammogram , you can turn to the breast care specialists at MountainView Hospital. Our state-of-the-art hospital provides Las Vegas residents with compassionate preventive and therapeutic services, including stroke care, bariatric weight loss, heart health services, and emergency care. Contact our Consult-A-Nurse line at (702) 233-5300 for general information about our hospital services.
During and after your breast cancer treatment, your cancer care team can help you learn how to support your body with the proper nutrition. It’s particularly important to maintain an adequate intake of calories and protein to help the body to repair tissues and fight off infection. For personalized nutrition guidance, Las Vegas residents can turn to the cancer care team at MountainView Hospital.
Maintaining Good Nutrition
A dietitian can provide you with your recommended daily intake of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. If you have trouble meeting these guidelines, you could ask your doctor if you should take a multivitamin or drink a liquid protein supplement. When planning your daily menu, try to include nutrient-dense foods from each food group . For example, pair a small bowl of oatmeal with a banana and some walnuts. For dinner, you could choose grilled fish, a spinach salad, and mashed sweet potato. Keep healthy snacks, such as dried fruit, low-fat cheese, and baby carrots, on hand.
Coping with Side Effects
Nausea and vomiting are common side effects of cancer treatment that can make it difficult to eat a balanced diet. If the odor of foods nauseates you, ask someone else to cook. Eat foods at room temperature or chilly and keep your head upright for an hour after eating. Bland and dry foods can help settle your stomach. Breast cancer patients often become averse to red meat; instead, try poultry or soy.
Drinking Plenty of Fluids
Some chemotherapy drugs can cause dehydration. Vomiting and diarrhea can also increase the risk of dehydration. Your doctor may recommend drinking eight to 12 eight-ounce glasses of water each day. Since you may find it difficult to drink a lot of water at once, try to take sips throughout the day. Choose foods that have high water content, such as cantaloupe, tomatoes, and fruit popsicles.
At MountainView Hospital , you’ll find a warm, compassionate setting in which to receive cancer care. Our community hospital in Las Vegas is committed to maintaining the highest standards of patient care and safety, while providing exceptional amenities for cancer patients and their families. You can contact a registered nurse at our hospital by calling (702) 233-5300 or visit us online to explore our other services, including emergency care, robotic surgery, stroke care, and bariatric weight loss.