Breast Cancer Screening & Diagnosis

Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer death in women. Fortunately, early detection and new treatment options have dramatically improved chances of surviving breast cancer. NGMC offers breast cancer screening, diagnosis, and treatment options, so patients can stay close to home and those they love as they face this new journey.

Breast Cancer Screening Services

Breast cancer screening is often the first step in finding breast cancer. By following screening recommendations, you improve your chances of finding cancer in its early stages.

When is breast cancer screening recommended?
  • Breast cancer screening is recommended for women of all ages.
  • Self-breast exams can be performed at any age but should be performed consistently in your 20s.
  • Additionally, women in their 20s and 30s should receive a clinical breast exam (CBE) by a health professional at least once every 3 years.
  • Once you are 40, you should have a mammogram every year.
  • Women with an increased risk for developing breast cancer may need to receive an MRI and mammogram every year.

Staying up to date on your annual physicals and communicating any concerns or family history of cancer to your doctor will help him or her instruct you on the best types of breast cancer screening for your individual situation.

What happens during a breast cancer screening?
  • Self-breast exams are useful in examining your breasts routinely to know what is normal and help you easily spot changes in your breasts when they occur. Essentially, you will look at and feel your breasts to check for lumps, inverted nipples, redness, soreness, rash, or swelling.
  • During a clinical breast exam (CBE), a medical professional will examine your breasts by looking at and feeling all areas of your breasts, including your underarms and the area under your collar bone. CBEs are usually performed at your primary care doctor or gynecologist’s office during an annual visit.
  • Mammograms are typically performed in imaging centers and are rather quick procedures. Each breast will be pressed between 2 plates as x-ray images are made. A radiologist will read the x-rays and look for any signs of cancer. It may take a few days before you receive your mammogram results.
  • For women with a high risk of developing breast cancer, your doctor may recommend a breast MRI. During a breast MRI, you will lie face down on a narrow table with your arms above your head as your breasts hang down in an opening of the table. Radio waves and strong magnets create images of the breasts. Contrast may be used to make spotting abnormal areas of the breast easier to see.
What are my options for breast cancer screening with NGMC?

NGMC is pleased to offer state-of-the-art breast cancer screening near you. We offer the following screening and imaging services:

  • Mammograms
  • 3D Mammography
  • Breast Ultrasounds
  • Breast MRIs
  • Advanced Breast & Lymph Node Biopsy Procedures

Mammograms are the most recommended screening tool used to find breast cancer in women. When you schedule a mammogram with NGMC, you will find spa-like facilities with warmed robes, soothing music, and gourmet refreshments along with early morning and weekend appointment options to make your experience as comfortable and convenient as possible.

Breast Cancer Diagnosis Process

An abnormal breast exam or mammogram can be scary. However, at NGMC our compassionate care team is here to answer your questions and guide you through the process. We provide cancer patients with free, no-cost Patient Navigation Services to provide support from diagnosis through recovery, whether you need help navigating the process, with financial support or with basic needs, like transportation or nutritious food.

A typical breast cancer diagnosis involves the following steps. If you have questions or need assistance throughout your breast cancer journey, reach out to a nurse navigator at 770-219-8815.

  1. Mammogram / Breast Imaging – Images are taken as a screening precaution or because a lump has been found during a breast exam.
  2. Breast Biopsy Procedure – Once a mammogram or other type of imaging shows an abnormality, a doctor will order a biopsy of the breast. During a breast lump biopsy, small parts of tissue are removed from the abnormal area and sent to a pathologist to test for cancer.
  3. Breast Cancer Diagnosis – If the results from the pathologist confirm the suspicious area is cancerous, you will receive a breast cancer diagnosis. Your doctor, along with NGMC physicians, support staff, and cancer patient navigators will help you determine your next steps.
  4. Customized Treatment Plan – NGMC offers a variety of breast cancer treatments, including lumpectomy, mastectomy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, radiation therapy and more. Our team considers your specific type of cancer, age, health and personal preferences to create a customized treatment plan aimed at effectively treating the cancer and providing the best quality of life during and after your recovery.

Contact Us Today

For more information about breast cancer care available at the Northeast Georgia Medical Center, call 770-219-8815.