Symptoms, Detection, Treatment

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers for women.  By catching breast cancer early, when it is small and hasn’t spread to other areas of the body, breast cancer can be cured in most women.  Early detection can be achieved with daily breast self-awareness, clinical breast exams, and annual screening mammograms beginning at age 40 for average risk women and at age 30 for high-risk women. To learn more about what you can do for early detection talk to your healthcare provider.

How to detect breast cancer

There are three important steps to the early detection of breast cancer:

Breast Self-Examination
Breast self-awareness is knowing your normal appearance and feel of your breasts. Breast self-examination is the inspection of your breasts on a daily basis to be able to identify changes. Notify your healthcare provider if you notice any changes in your breasts such as a lump, new onset of nipple discharge, fullness, skin changes/indentation, or redness.

Clinical Breast Examination
Clinical breast exams done by your provider are also important. After a discussion with your health care provider and depending upon a patient’s personal and family history, they can be done every 1-3 years.

Mammograms work by sending x-rays through the breast tissue to obtain images. These images are analyzed for abnormalities and assessed for changes from previous exams. Annual mammograms should begin at age 40 for average risk women and at age 30 for women with a higher risk. If you have a family history of breast cancer, you should consult your medical provider about starting screening prior to age 40.

How Do I know if I am at high risk for developing Breast Cancer?
There are many risk factors that can elevate your risk of developing Breast Cancer. The Mankato Clinic uses the Tyrer-Cuzick model when evaluating your risk score. What this model does is take your personal and family history and calculate a percentage. If this percentage is elevated you are considered at a higher risk of developing breast cancer in your lifetime. For high-risk patients, the Mankato Clinic recommends starting annual screening mammograms at age 30 and annual screening breast MRI at age 25, alternating in 6-month intervals.

Risk factors include:

  • Personal or family history of breast or ovarian cancer
  • Dense tissue type on mammography
  • Personal history of a breast biopsy and a high risk lesion found on biopsy
  • Age over 30 at first full time pregnancy
  • No history of full term pregnancy
  • Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry
  • Black American ancestry
  • Chest radiation therapy between the ages of 10 and 30
  • Smoking
  • More than one alcoholic drink a day
  • Being overweight
  • Lack of exercise

Our Breast Imaging Center offers Breast Health Registered Nurses who will coordinate, educate, and assist you with your diagnostic imaging experience. We understand how personal these situations are and how important it is that you are comfortable with your surroundings and care. Contact your Mankato Clinic provider today to make an appointment or request one here.

Mankato Clinic Breast Health and Imaging Center offers:

  • Screening and Diagnostic Mammography
  • Dedicated Certified Mammographers
  • Registered ARDMS Breast Sonographers
  • Breast Health Registered Nurses
  • Digital diagnostic work-up with same day results for mammographic and palpable lesions and other clinical findings
  • Care for women with augmented breasts
  • Ultrasound
  • Radio-Frequency Localizations
  • Core Biopsies-Stereotactic and Ultrasound Guided
  • Cyst Aspirations
  • Breast MRI 
  • High risk screening and education for patients with high risk factors
  • Sage Program assistance for those who meet income guidelines

The professional and caring staff at the Mankato Clinic Breast Imaging Center is focused on providing you with the latest technology and information available today regarding breast care, including the detection of breast cancer.

Click here for education about your upcoming mammogram

Breast Cancer in Young Women

Diagnostic Imaging
Main Street
1230 E. Main Street, Mankato