Solis Women’s Health Committed to Better Breast Health
May 01, 2011 09:30PM
By Elizabeth Daniels
Dr. Suzanne Hand
Breast health is an important component of a woman’s overall wellness. Women can help with the early detection and treatment of breast cancer by playing an active role in their own health care—from self-exams to clinical breast exams and mammograms.
At Solis Women’s Health Breast Imaging Specialists of Indiana, the focus is exclusively on the screening and diagnosis of breast cancer. The ACR (American College of Radiology) accredited facility offers screening and diagnostic mammography and sonographic imaging and biopsy options, and is staffed by a full time breast fellowship trained physician—Suzanne M. Hand, MD—with more than 15 years of professional experience in breast imaging and biopsy.
Dr. Hand says there is many things women can do for early detection. First, she recommends that every woman have a main physician for their annual breast exam as well as coordinating their overall care. This doctor, she says, is responsible for providing the prescription for a mammography and supplemental studies. Second, she suggests performing monthly self breast exams that are timed to coordinate with day 7-10 of the menstrual cycle. For women with family history of pre-menopausal breast cancers and ovarian cancers, she recommends genetic counseling to determine if they are predisposed to breast cancer at a much higher rate than average individuals.
Finally, she notes the importance of annual mammograms beginning at age 40. And although there is some controversy surrounding the safety of mammograms, Hand explains, “Mammography has a minimal low dose exposure that is not considered to outweigh the lifetime benefit of early detection.” However, to be cautious, she says mammograms for those under 40 are limited to high-risk patients, or those women with a lump or other symptoms.
“Of course, decreasing the lifetime risk of breast cancer is linked to a few healthy habits we should all incorporate,” says Dr. Hand. “Committing to a low fat diet, limiting alcohol consumption, and not smoking are just a few of the most significant things we can do.”