Screening and Early Detection
Breast Cancer

Detection of breast cancer at an early stage and the affective early treatment is the best tool currently available to reduce deaths and increase number of women surviving breast cancer diagnosis.

The earlier the diagnosis is made, the better the chances are in terms of survival and avoiding drastic treatments.  Click here to view the Health Authority Abu Dhabi recommendation.

Mammography 

A mammogram is the best screening tool used today to find breast cancer early. It is an X-ray picture of the breast. A mammogram can find cancer before you notice any problems in your breast.

It can find cancer when it is small and easier to treat often without losing the breast.  It is recommended that all women have a screening mammogram every two years starting at age 40 (and perhaps earlier if you have a family history of breast cancer).

To book your screening mammogram appointment, Click here

Clinical Breast Examination (CBE) 

Your doctor and some other health care providers have been trained to perform a thorough physical examination of your breasts.  They can verify that you are doing BSE the proper way.  If you have a family history of breast cancer, your doctor is ready to discuss mammography screening guidelines and scheduling along with other options to limit your personal risks.

Breast Self-Examination (BSE) 

Every woman should check her breast for lumps, thickening, or other changes every month. By examining your breast regularly, you will learn how your breasts normally feel. Moreover, practicing monthly BSE may give you added peace-of-mind; it’s a routine that gives you the opportunity to spot changes that need your doctor’s attention.

The best time for Breast Self Exam

  • 6 - 10 days after first day of your period, when the breasts are not tender or swollen
  • after menopause or hysterectomy, examine your breasts on the same day of each month.  You may choose any date but it should be one you will remember

Steps of Breast Self Examination:

Step 1: FEEL YOUR BREASTS WHILE LYING DOWN

  • Lie down on your back with a pillow under your right shoulder
  • Use the pads of the three middle fingers on your left hand to check your right breast
  • Press using light, medium and firm pressure in a circle without lifting your fingers off the skin
  • Follow an up and down pattern
  • Feel for changes in your breast, above and below your collarbone and in your armpit
  • Repeat on your left breast using your right hand

These steps may be repeated while bathing or showering using soapy hands.

Step 2: LOOK AT YOUR BREAST WHILE STANDING IN FRONT OF THE MIRROR  

Look for changes:

  • Hold arms at your side
  • Hold arms over your head
  • Press your hands on your hips and tighten your chest muscles
  • Bend forward with your hands on your hips

What are you looking for?

See your health care provider right away if you notice any of these breast changes:

  • Lump, hard knot or thickening
  • Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening
  • Change in the size or the shape of the breast
  • Dimpling or puckering of the skin
  • Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple
  • Pulling in of your nipple or other parts of the breast
  • Nipple discharge that starts suddenly
  • New pain in one spot that does not go away

Did you do your breast self-exam correctly? Click on this link to find out: http://www.komen.org

Screening of High Risk Women

A woman is considered at higher risk of developing breast cancer if she has one or more of the following criteria:

  • Previous treatment with chest radiation at a young age (between age of 10-30)
  • Previous history of Breast Cancer
  • Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) or Atypical ductal hyperplasia (ADH) on previous breast biopsy
  • Strong family history or genetic predisposition
  • Women who have a life time risk of 20-25% as defined by models largely dependent of family history
  • 5-years risk of developing invasive breast cancer of ≥ 1.7 % in women aged ≥35 (per Gail model )

The Health Authority Abu Dhabi recommendation for screening women at high risk includes:

  • Breast Self-exam , monthly
  • Clinical Breast Exam, every 6-12 months
  • Annual Mammography screening
  • Annual MRI screening - as indicated
  • Referral to genetic counselor –for strong familial/genetic predisposition

If you are at higher risk, talk to your healthcare providers. Screening recommendation is individualized for each women based on type of risks. It might be initiated at earlier age (earlier than 40 years) and with different screening tools, as indicated