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79035606 - woman is about to undergo a mammography test in hospital

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Together with the Cancer Research Institute, Donate-a-car would like to encourage women over 40 or 50 to schedule their annual breast cancer screening.

 

The Cancer Research Institute continues to support innovative breakthroughs to cure all types of cancer including breast cancer. To support them in this great cause and help find a cure faster, consider donating your car to the Cancer Research Institute through our car donation program.

 

Here are the main types of Breast Cancer Screening Options:

 

Digital Mammograms

A digital mammogram creates an x-ray image that is stored on a computer. Digital mammograms can pick up the same amount of cancers as traditional x-rays yet they also increase cancer detection rates in women whose breasts are more dense which make tumors harder to spot. Digital mammograms have lessened the number of follow up tests so women are exposed to less radiation.

 

3D Mammograms

Images are created from several x-rays taken from different angles of the breast with 3D mammograms. They can often find things which are more difficult to see on the standard 2-dimensional mammograms. However, a 3D mammogram will expose a woman to a little more radiation than a standard mammogram.

 

MRI Breast Scan

For this test, a material that is contrasting is injected into the blood to circulate throughout the breast highlighting suspicious areas. The MRI scan will show this contrast material. This cancer screening is often recommended for women with a higher lifetime risk of breast cancer. A contrast-enhanced MRI scan is quite sensitive at picking up breast cancers, however with that added sensitivity, it can also lead to a higher rate of false-positives. That may be a risk worth taking for a woman whose breast cancer risk is high.

 

Molecular Breast Imaging

Also known as nuclear medicine imaging of the breast, molecular breast imaging uses a tracer given through an IV that is absorbed into the breast tissue. The breast cells appear to absorb more of the tracer than the healthy cells allowing the cancer cells to be seen through a special camera. This screening is being studied to be used in breast cancer screenings, staging and diagnosis. Although this screening is being used in clinical practice, it is not widely available right now.