Understanding Breast Cancer Screening


Breast cancer screening is performed to check a woman’s breasts for cancer before the appearance of
any symptoms. All women should be informed by their healthcare providers about the various screening
options available to them. You will be told about the benefits and risks of various breast cancer
screening methods and you can decide with your healthcare provider whether it is the right option for

Though screening cannot prevent cancer, it can help detect breast cancer in an early stage and can make
it easier to treat. You can discuss with a doctor in a free womens clinic near you to understand the type
of breast cancer screening that is right for you and when you should have it.

Screening Tests To Detect Breast Cancer

There are many tests and that are used to detect breast cancer. These are:



A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast and can help detect breast cancer at an early stage. It can help
reduce the chances of death from breast cancer. You can find a free womens clinic in your area by
searching online “free womens clinic near me” and then get in touch with the healthcare professionals
in the clinic to get yourself screened.


Magnetic Resonance Imaging

MRI makes use of magnets and radiowaves to capture images of the breast. This screening is used
together with mammograms to screen women who are at increased risk of getting breast cancer. Breast
MRI can appear abnormal even when there is no cancer. Therefore, MRIs of the breast are not
suggested for women who are at average risk of breast cancer.


Benefits And Risks Of Breast Cancer Screening

All types of screening tests have their benefits and risks. This is why you need to talk with your
healthcare provider before getting any breast cancer screening tests like a mammogram. The benefit of
cancer screening tests is detecting cancer at an early stage, and the risk can include harmful false
positive results. False positive results demand more tests which can be time-consuming, and invasive.
False positive results can also lead to anxiety.

Overdiagnosis is another risk of breast cancer screening tests. This happens when a healthcare provider
finds cancer that would not have caused symptoms or other issues. Overdiagnosis can result in
overtreatment, which can include treatment recommended for breast cancer, like radiation therapy or
surgery, leading to side effects. Pain and radiation exposure are other risks of breast cancer screening.

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    About the Author

    Dr. Ghassan M. Al-Jazayrly, MD

    A graduate of University of Aleppo Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Al-Jazayrly or, as he is colloquially known: Dr. AJ, is an oncologist and hematologist of a Complete Care Community Health Center (CCCHC) with more than 36 years of experience. In recent years, he’s been involved with a non profit organization known as Every Woman Counts (EWC) which provides free breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to California’s underserved populations in order to eliminate health disparities for low-income individuals.

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