Diagnosis and Early Detection

While some women are more likely than others to develop breast cancer for reasons that can include family history, hormonal exposures, age and other risk factors, no one is immune. Given the importance of detecting breast cancer at an early stage, it is vital that all women know how to screen for the disease — both through self-exams and visits to their health care provider.

When breast cancer is found early, a woman has more treatment options and a greater likelihood of complete recovery. With prompt treatment, the outlook for women with breast cancer is good. Early treatment saves lives and can also conserve the breast. Thus, women should be proactive about breast cancer screening, establishing a schedule of breast self-examinations, checkups and mammography appropriate to their level of risk. They should also watch for signs or symptoms of the disease, bringing any significant breast changes to the attention of their health professional.

The encouraging news is that with state-of-the-art diagnostic techniques, breast cancer is being detected earlier. Today, the majority of new breast cancers show no signs that the cancer has spread beyond the breast. The Cedars-Sinai Breast Cancer Program provides state-of-the-art techniques as well as expertise in determining the individual patient’s course of breast cancer treatment. Our multidisciplinary team of experts meets on a weekly basis to review patient cases and diagnostic images, marshalling its wide-ranging expertise to ensure patients receive the most appropriate treatment and follow-up.

Routine Screening

All adult women should engage in regular breast self-exams and should report any concerns to their health care provider. In addition, beginning at a certain age — which can vary depending on individual risk — women are urged to obtain regular mammography screenings.