Breast Cancer Screening

When breast cancer is found early, you have more treatment options and better outcomes. At Northern Light Mercy, we support our patients by utilizing the following breast cancer screening techniques:

  • Monthly breast self-exams: By routinely examining your breasts, you’ll have a greater chance of finding cancer when it’s a smaller size and less advanced. Each month, in the week after your menstrual cycle, perform a breast self-exam. If you find a lump or any other breast change (like nipple changes, redness, soreness), contact your healthcare provider.
  • Annual mammogram: Mammograms can detect breast cancer before it can be felt. Starting at age 40, you should get a mammogram each year. At Northern Light Mercy, we offer 3-D mammograms. By taking several low-dose X-ray images from different angles, this state-of-the-art technology can find more cancers and lead to fewer false positives (mammograms that look abnormal even though there is no cancer).
  • Further screening techniques: If you have a higher risk of breast cancer, such as if you have a family history of breast cancer or ovarian cancer, your provider may recommend more screening, such as using breast MRIs or starting screening at an earlier age.

If a lump or abnormality is found, your provider may perform a breast biopsy to take a small sample from the lump and test it for cancer.