Breast & Ovarian Cancer Screening
Rock Hill GYN & OB provides screenings for breast cancer and ovarian cancer in both Rock Hill and Fort Mill, SC. Through these screening tests, it may be possible to assess your personal risk for developing ovarian or breast cancer. It also may be possible to discover their presence before symptoms occur. Early detection drastically improves the outlook for treatment. We understand the stress and anxiety that can revolve around these screenings, but you can feel confident that you will always be treated with compassion and respect from all of the members of your medical team.
Abnormal cells that develop in the breast and grow out of control are breast cancer. This is the most common form of cancer diagnosed in women in the United States, with the exception of skin cancer. Men can also develop breast cancer, although it is relatively rare.
Some of the symptoms of breast cancer include:
- A lump in the breast or underarm
- Changes in the size or shape of the breasts
- Swelling in part of the breast
- Dimpling of the skin on the breast
- Redness of flaky skin on or around the nipple
- Pain in the nipple area
- Pain in any area
- Nipple discharge
These symptoms can also occur due to other conditions that are not cancer, but if you experience any changes in your breasts it is worth seeking medical guidance to determine the reason for these changes.
At your annual exam, you will receive a physical breast exam by your doctor who will assess the size and shape of your breasts and feel if there are any lumps present. Let your doctor know if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms. It is also recommended that women between the ages of 45 and 50 begin to undergo yearly mammograms. A mammogram is an X-ray of the breasts. This may be recommended sooner if you have a family history of breast cancer or if you have certain genes linked to breast cancer. With a mammogram, breast cancer can be detected up to three years before it can be felt in the breast.
Your ovaries are located in your lower abdomen and are the organs responsible for producing eggs. In its early stages, cancer that begins in the ovaries usually does not cause any symptoms. When symptoms do manifest, they are generally non-specific such as loss of appetite and unintended weight loss, so it can be difficult to immediately diagnose ovarian cancer. This form of cancer is the fifth most common cancer contracted by women in the United States. It is also the most common cause of death due to gynecologic cancer. When ovarian cancer develops it can spread to the pelvis and abdomen, making it more difficult to treat. Early detection vastly improves the success of treatment.
There are not currently any specific screening tests that can accurately detect ovarian cancer, so it is important to learn about your family’s medical history so you can assess your personal risk for developing this form of cancer.
Transvaginal ultrasound, or TVUS, is an internal exam used to get a closer look at your pelvis and reproductive organs. An ultrasound wand is inserted into your vagina and sound waves provide an image of the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. While this can detect if a mass is present, further testing is required to learn if the mass is cancerous.
Preventing Breast & Ovarian Cancer through Genetic Testing
Specific gene mutations exist that are linked to the formation of breast and ovarian cancer. These genes include the BRCA1, BRCA2, and PALB2 and they can be inherited from your mother or your father if they have this gene. If several members of your family including parents or grandparents on either side have been diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer, you may want to consider being tested.
Schedule an Appointment
Scheduling annual wellness exams and participating in yearly screenings are integral to keeping your health on track. Rock Hill GYN & OB is in your corner to help guide you every step of the way. Contact us to schedule an appointment or to learn more about genetic testing.