LiveSmart: Remember Your Mammogram this October – Early Detection Saves Lives

[By Carmen Walker, BS, RT R M QM, Manager of Medical Imaging, St. Peter’s Breast Center at St. Peter’s Hospital, St. Mary’s Campus and Washington Avenue Mammography.]

Every October, social media is covered with pink ribbons to remind everyone that it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The good news is, thanks to new technologies and advanced techniques, women have increasingly more convenient and accurate ways to detect breast cancer.

The American College of Radiology and the National Cancer Institute recommend that all women age 40 and older receive a screening mammogram every year. Younger women with a family history of breast cancer should ask their family doctor about starting screening earlier.

Options include:

Screening Mammogram: While the patient is standing, each breast is compressed between two plates for very low-dose X-rays in a procedure that takes less than 20 minutes. A specially trained physician (radiologist) examines the pictures.

Diagnostic Mammogram: In cases where a breast exam or other tests have shown some abnormalities, additional images are taken to clarify the situation. These follow-ups involve about 10 percent of mammogram patients.

Breast Ultrasound or MRI: For additional information, the physician may order an ultrasound (an image provided by sound waves) or MRI (magnetic and radio waves).

Biopsy: While images can show unusual areas in the breast, a biopsy (removal of cells or tissue) may be needed so that laboratory specialists can determine whether the sample is cancerous.

Having all the latest technologies and techniques in one location streamlines the process for patients, providing seamless, efficient care and reducing anxiety. With that goal in mind, St. Peter’s Health Partners offers exceptional breast care in two convenient locations: St. Peter’s Breast Center at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany and the St. Peter’s Breast Center at St. Mary’s Campus in Troy.

The spaces offer a full array of services, including 2-D and 3-D mammograms, ultrasounds, breast biopsies, and DEXA bone scans.

Our centers at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany and St. Mary’s Campus in Troy are both accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers, a program administered by the American College of Surgeons. They have also been named a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology.

The St. Mary’s Campus also offers mammograms on Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. to accommodate your busy schedule. For more information, please contact 518-525-1401 for the Albany location, or 518-268-5353 for the St. Mary’s Campus location.

All of St. Peter’s Health Partners’ radiologic facilities are accredited by the American College of Radiology. Mammography services are also available at St. Peter’s Medical Imaging – East Greenbush at 279 Troy Road (Walmart Plaza – Route 4), which also has limited Saturday availability; the St. Peter’s Breast Center located at 1365 Washington Avenue in Albany; and St. Peter’s Medical Imaging – Clifton Park at 1 Tallow Wood Drive.

For more information on our comprehensive breast care services, please visit:

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