Taking the Fear Out of Breast Screenings
Mercy Fitzgerald specialists aim to reduce women’s anxieties during mammography
Darby, PA (August 27, 2013): A screening mammogram continues to be the most effective tool in detecting breast cancer before it can be felt. Yet, some women may still delay getting their annual mammogram because they worry about the possibility of hearing bad news. Current guidelines from the American Cancer Society recommend that women begin yearly mammograms at age 40 even if they have no symptoms or family history of breast cancer. Many health experts also encourage women to conduct self-breast exams on a monthly basis.
"Often women are afraid of what might be found on the mammogram, but it’s important to try not to be scared and to get screened,” says Caroline Ho, MD, radiologist and director of Women’s Imaging at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital. “The earlier breast cancer is diagnosed, the better chance we have of treating it successfully.”
Drs. Ho, Manila Bagherzadeh-Azar and Dimple Shah are Fellowship-trained radiologists who specialize in women’s imaging at Mercy Fitzgerald and Mercy Philadelphia Hospitals. Together, they perform nearly 7,600 breast studies and breast procedures each year, including mammograms, breast ultrasounds, ultrasound guided breast biopsies, breast MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging studies), and stereotactic breast biopsies.
Earlier this summer, Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital opened a new suite solely dedicated to Women’s Imaging procedures. The 1,100-square-foot suite is home to two state-of-the-art digital mammography machines and a new stereotactic breast biopsy unit.
“If a woman is called back for further tests after her screening, we have the capability and technology of doing all her work-up in one convenient location,” states Dr. Bagherzadeh-Azar. “Our Women’s Imaging Fellowship training provides us with comprehensive experience in interpreting the images and if needed, intervening with a biopsy procedure.”