October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Here at Levinson Axelrod, we join in the American Cancer Society’s efforts to raise awareness of the importance screening for breast cancer. This blog focuses on a diagnostic breast x-ray called a mammogram.
One of the key tools that doctors use to diagnose small breast cancers is a mammogram. A mammogram is an x-ray specially designed to penetrate dense breast tissue and reveal signs of breast cancer very early on in its course. The earlier a breast cancer is found, the greater the likelihood of a cure. Once breast cancer has traveled from the breast to other parts of the body the chance for a cure is often lost.
The first machines specifically for imaging the breast came into use in 1969. However, mammograms continues to evolve even today. The Food and Drug Administration recently approved an improved technique called 3-dimensional mammogram. The Journal of the American Medical Association published an article in June of 2014 which showed that 3-D mammogram x-ray is better at finding early breast cancers that older technologies missed.
Certain patterns on mammograms suggest cancer. Masses, big lymph nodes, and clusters of calcium deposits can all be red flags for cancer. Patients should also know also that a mammogram misses a small percentage of cancers, so a breast lump felt by the patient should never be ignored.
The medical malpractice department of Levinson Axelrod encourages our blog readers to do their part to assure early diagnosis of breast cancer. We strongly encourage self- breast examinations, periodic breast examinations by health care providers, and a mammogram if directed by your doctor.
When a failure to timely diagnose breast cancer occurs, the consequences to the woman and her family can be catastrophic. The medical malpractice department of Levinson Axelrod has both the medical resources and the legal resources to analyze these cases. We are here to help.