Blog - Imaging Specialists

Top Three Breast Cancer Myths Debunked

Myth 1: Family history is present in most women diagnosed with breast cancer.

FALSE. More than 75% of women with breast cancer have no family history of the disease and less than 10% have a known gene mutation that increases risk.

We know a little about breast cancer risk factors, but why some women develop breast cancer and others do not, is still often a mystery. It is important for all women, regardless of family history, to have annual mammograms beginning at age 40.

Family history of breast cancer refers to having two or more first-degree relatives (such as a mother, sister, or daughter) or second-degree relatives (such as an aunt, niece or grandmother) diagnosed with breast cancer. Those with first degree relatives with breast cancer are at increased risk of developing breast cancer compared with women without affected relatives.

If you have a family history, it does not mean you have an inherited mutation. Women with inherited mutations of the genes BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 may result in increased risk of breast cancer. The mutations are sometimes (but not always) passed down to relatives and represent only 5-10% of breast cancer cases.

Myth 2: Lumps found on or around the breast are the only sign of breast cancer for which to routinely check.

No. Here are eight more signs and symptoms of breast cancer that could save your life.

  1. Changes in the skin texture on or around your breast:  A lump inside the breast may cause in the breast to shorten and skin to pull inwards resulting in a puckered or dented appearance.
  2. Changes in the skin texture on or around breast:  Dimpling of the skin could suggest that the tiny channels in the breast, called lymph vessels, which help get rid of waste products from the body, have become blocked.
  3. Thickening of the breast tissue.  A lump in the cells within the milk-secreting glandular lobules may cause.
  4. Developing an eczema-like rash or redness on the nipple or the surrounding area.  Although very rare, this redness can be linked to a disease that is associated with breast cancer called Paget’s disease.
  5. Unusual discharge (such as blood or pus) from the nipple.
  6. The nipple changes such as inversion or changes in shape and position.
  7. Visible veins on the breast
  8. Swelling in the armpit

Myth 3. Men can’t get breast cancer.

Men can get breast cancer. While breast cancer in men comprises less than 1% of all breast cancers, it does occur. Men have breast tissue. Per the American Cancer Society, other factors including age, high estrogen levels, radiation exposure, alcohol consumption, a strong family history of breast cancer, or genetic mutations may increase a man’s risk of breast cancer.

Mammography Tips from our Women’s Imaging Team

At Imaging Specialists’ Women’s Imaging, we provide a private suite of advanced imaging including 3D mammography. Every Tuesday, our team shares mammography tips on ourFacebook page. Here is a look at some of the tips you need to know before scheduling your next mammogram.

1. Deodorant – Skip the deodorant before your mammogram. It can actually show up and require extra films. Imaging Specialists provides deodorant for your use after the
exam.

2. Check your Calendar – It needs to be one year plus one day between mammography appointments. This is for insurance and screening purposes.

3. Prior Records – It is helpful for our radiologists to have your prior mammogram films. If you have had a mammogram at a different location, simply fill out this form BEFORE your scheduled mammogram. We will facilitate getting your prior mammography films for you! https://www.imagingsc.com/records-release-authorization/

4. Implants – It is important to notify our team of implants when you schedule your appointment. Implants require more films, which call for a longer appointment time.

5. What to Wear – When coming in for a mammogram, make sure to wear bottoms. You need to wear clothing that is easy to remove from the waist up, as our capes are waist length.

6. Compression – Why the squeeze? Compression keeps the breast still, it makes the surface area smaller and spreads out the tissue which helps with cancer detection.

7. Nursing – If you are currently nursing or have nursed within 6 months, wait before scheduling your mammogram. Allow your breasts 6 months to return to normal before scheduling.

8. 2D vs. 3D – Unlike 2D mammography, 3D Breast Tomosynthesis takes X-ray pictures of each breast from many angles that are not available in traditional mammography.

Most important tip of all: Mammograms save lives. Your very best defense is early detection and diagnosis, made possible through an annual screening mammogram. Schedule yours today! https://www.imagingsc.com/online-appointments.

Imaging Specialists Answers Top Imaging Questions

The team at Imaging Specialists interacts with patients on a daily basis.   Patients often share the same questions and concerns.   Imaging Specialists  compiled those questions in one place in hopes that these answers will help others  with scheduled imaging as well.

  • When will I get my MRI results?  The answer for MRI is the results are available the next day.  The Imaging Specialists  radiologists examine the images and provide a detailed report to the referring provider, who then contacts the patient regarding the results.
  • Is my mammogram clear?   The subspecialty trained radiologists at Imaging Specialists are on site and personally provide mammography results. Unlike other imaging centers, if a patient needs additional studies they will be handled immediately. No waiting and worrying!
  • If a prior mammogram was at another facility, can I still come to Imaging Specialists?   You bet!  Go to  www.imagingspecialists.com to find a convenient Women’s Imaging form.   Imaging Specialists facilitates the transfer of prior mammography films.
  • Do you have a patient portal? Patients are given access to a patient portal at the time of visit.   It typically takes 24 hours for results to be posted to the portal.
  • Can I walk in for an X-Ray?  Yes!   However, patients do need an order in hand from a referring physician.   Walk ins, but it is recommended to  call before arriving so the team can put the appointment on the schedule.
  • Does Imaging Specialists handle insurance authorization?  The authorization  team begins communication with the insurance company as soon as the patient is placed on the schedule.  Here is a tip:  The more clinical notes received from the provider, the easier it can be to get the insurance provider to authorize payment.
  • Can I choose to go to Imaging Specialists?   ABSOLUTELY!  Patients should be an advocate for their health and request to go to Imaging Specialists.

Imaging Specialists is the only locally owned full service, freestanding medical imaging facility in greater Charleston. From Digital X-Ray to the latest Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Imaging Specialists strives to exceed all of expectations for care. Experience the difference that the latest technology housed in a modern facility can make. The friendly staff is available to answer questions at 843-881-4020. (tel:843-881-4020)

A Letter From Michael Garovich, MD, President

Dear Patients,

It is my hope that this New Year finds you and your family healthy and happy. We are proud to be your choice for comprehensive imaging services. Nine years ago, we opened our doors. As both the doctors and the owners of the area’s only privately owned, free standing imaging center, we stood by the idea that healthcare delivery could and should revolve around what the patient wants. We believed in being better.

We brought the absolute best technology available today to the market. Then, we made it affordable. Not stopping there, we made it convenient. Ease of appointments, rapid results, pull up parking, transparent pricing with no hidden fees coupled with really nice people, create a five star experience. Treating our patients like family happens every day.

Our subspecialty trained radiologists are some of the best in their field. Our neuro, musculoskeletal, body, diagnostic, breast, pediatric, and interventional radiologists are your neighbors. We care about you, your family, and your friends. Expect more from your healthcare. Take the time to compare. It is your right to choose where you receive imaging services. Every day we work hard to make sure your choice is Imaging Specialists.

Yours truly,
Michael Garovich, MD, President
Imaging Specialists