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Breast Health Care
Each woman's breast will change during her lifetime. The shape, size, and the feel of one's breast will be influenced by monthly menstrual cycles, childbirth, breast-feeding, birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy, menopause, weight changes, and age. You should examine your breasts on the same day of the month as a routine health habit. When you do breast self-examination, you are looking for a lump or an unusual thickening that feels different from the rest of your breast. Look for:
Breast cancer effects everyone. Although about 99% of all breast cancers occur in women, men get breast cancer too.
Age: About 75 percent of all breast cancers are found in women over the age of 50.
Whether your risk of breast cancer is low or high, there are some practical steps that you can take. The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends the following Screening Guidelines for early detection:
A mammogram is a low dose x-ray picture of the breast. There are two purposes for which a mammogram is used:
Women should get a mammogram where the equipment, technologists, physicians and procedures meet the nationally recognized standards, such as accreditation by the American College of Radiology and certification by the Food and Drug Administration.
State law requires that private health insurance/health maintenance organizations cover the cost of screening mammography, based on the American Cancer Society’s screening guidelines.
If you are age 40 years or older, call one of the NJCEED screening programs listed below to see if you are eligible for free screening services. If you are 65 years or older and receive Medicare, screening mammograms performed at a Medicare-approved facility are covered every year. Ask the facility if it is approved by Medicare to perform screening mammograms.
If you receive Medicaid, screening mammography based on the American Cancer Society screening guidelines is covered. Diagnostic mammograms are generally covered by insurance programs.
The NJCEED Program offers the following services to women enrolled in the program: screening mammograms, clinical breast examinations, instructions on breast self-examinations, Pap tests, pelvic examinations, and colorectal cancer screenings. When indicated, further diagnostic tests are performed, such as needle biopsies, breast ultrasounds and colposcopies. Case management, tracking and follow-up are provided to all women and major emphasis is placed on rescreening women who are currently being served by the program.
Biopsy: Surgically removing a small piece of tissue that is checked under a microscope for cancer cells. A small tumor can frequently be removed at the time of the biopsy.
Breast self-examination (BSE): A monthly self-breast exam.
Cancer: Abnormal uncontrolled growth of cells.
Diagnostic mammogram: A special breast x-ray done to evaluate changes in breast size, discharge, and/or lumps(s).
Fibrocystic disease of the breast: A non-specific diagnosis for a condition in which there are lumps that you can feel.
Needle biopsy: Removing tissue through a hollow needle that is inserted into the breast lump. This tissue is then checked for cancer cells.
Screening: A procedure to detect cancer in people who are symptom-free.
Tumor: An abnormal growth of tissue (lump). Tumors can be either benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer).
New Jersey Cancer Education and Early Detection Screening Programs
Page maintained by the New Jersey Cancer Education and Early Detection Program (NJCEED), PO Box 364, Trenton, NJ 08625, (p) 609-292-8540, (f) 609-588-3638, email.
Department of Health and Senior Services
P. O. Box 360, Trenton, NJ 08625-0360
Last Modified: Friday, 27-Jul-12 10:30:50