Mammography Patient Teaching-Aid Video

Mammography Training

Mammography

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Mammography Patient Teaching Aid Video

Mammography Detects Early Breast Cancer

The earlier cancer is found, the better the chance of a cure. Breast cancer is no exception because small breast cancers are less likely to spread to lymph nodes and vital organs such as the lungs and the brain. Mammography is an early screening test that can detect very small changes in breast tissue before a lump is felt. The low-dose x-ray of the mammogram shows abnormalities in breast tissue, such as masses or calcium deposits. Because an abnormality detected by a mammogram may not be cancerous, some follow-up testing is often required by a physician for a final diagnosis.

Capturing Clear Tissue Images

A mammogram is a simple test that uses a machine designed specifically to observe breast tissue. During the x-ray, the breast is positioned on the machine’s flat surface while it is compressed by another flat surface. Flattening the breast tissue allows the radiologist to see a clearer image of the tissue. The compression of the breast between the plates is done twice—once vertically and once horizontally.

Tutorial on Mammography Types

There are three basic types of x-ray mammography: standard, digital, and three-dimensional (3D). The standard mammogram takes an x-ray, and the image is printed on a large sheet of film for review by a radiologist using a light box. A digital mammogram (called full-field digital mammography, or FFDM) takes a low-dose x-ray image that is stored digitally on a computer and reviewed on a digital screen. Because the x-ray images are easier to store and retrieve with digital mammograms, they are becoming more common. The newest type of mammogram is 3D mammography (or breast tomosynthesis). For this x-ray, the breast is compressed between the two flat plates only once, and the machine takes many low-dose x-rays as it moves around the breast. A computer then arranges the images  into a 3D picture. Three-dimensional mammography is not covered under all health insurance policies, but it may allow doctors to see the breast tissues more clearly.

Screening Recommendation Depends on Risk Factors

Approximately one in every eight women in the United States will develop breast cancer during her lifetime, and the risk of breast cancer increases dramatically with age. Regular screening mammograms in women over age 40 years have been proven to lower the number of deaths due to breast cancer.

Your doctor will recommend a breast cancer–screening schedule after taking into account your age and specific risk factors. The general recommendation for women with an average risk of breast cancer is for mammograms to begin at age 45 years, or as early as age 40 years if the patient chooses. For these women, follow-up mammograms should occur every 1 to 2 years. Women with a higher risk of breast cancer, such as those with a family history of breast cancer or with certain genetic markers for breast cancer, may need to start screening earlier and receive screening more often. Unfortunately, mammography is not a perfect testing procedure. X-rays of breast tissue may not show all cancers, or they may falsely show an abnormality that is not present. This imperfection is why repeated screening on an agreed-upon schedule is important.

Preparing for a Successful Mammogram

If you are going to a mammography facility for the first time, bring a list of the places and dates of mammograms, biopsies, or other breast treatments you have had before. On the day of the mammogram, refrain from using creams, deodorants, powders, and perfumes under the arms or near the breasts. In some women, the pressure used to flatten the breast causes some temporary discomfort, but most women do not consider mammograms painful. To minimize the discomfort of a mammogram, schedule your appointment when your breasts are not tender or swollen and try to avoid the week just before your period.

If you have any questions about mammograms for breast-cancer screenings or community resources that provide affordable low or no-cost screenings for women, speak with your trusted local pharmacist or another healthcare provider.

Link to Original Article in US Pharmacist Magazine

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Not all vegan or plant-based diets are equally healthy

Vegan Diet Vegetables

By HENA PATEL and KIM ALLAN WILLIAMS, SR

 

Move over, low-fat diets. More and more experts are recommending plant-based diets to reduce the risk of heart disease and other chronic conditions such as diabetes and cancer.

But are all plant-based diets equally beneficial? And must they be all-or-none eating strategies, or is there a role for a semi-vegetarian or “flexitarian” approach?

The term plant-based diet often conjures up images of vegetarian or vegan fare. But it really means a diet that emphasizes foods from plants — vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, seeds, and the like — not one that necessarily excludes non-plant foods.

The results of studies on the health effects of plant-based diets have varied widely, largely due to how these diets were defined. Some focused on vegetarian or vegan eating habits, others included some foods from animals. Notably, these studies tended to treat all plant foods equally, even though eating certain foods from plants, such as refined grains and sugar-sweetened beverages, is associated with a higher risk of developing diabetes or having a heart attack or stroke, while eating whole grains and produce are associated with lower risks.

That’s why we were so interested to see the results of a recently published study performed by researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Led by Ambika Satija, the team catalogued the diets of nearly 210,000 nurses and other health professionals based on their answers to food frequency questionnaires every two years for an average of 23 years. From these data, the researchers defined three versions of a plant-based diet: an overall plant-based diet that emphasizes the consumption of all plant foods and reduced the intake of animal foods; a healthful plant-based diet that emphasizes the intake of healthy whole grains, fruits, and vegetables; and an unhealthful plant-based diet that emphasizes the intake of less-healthy plant foods, such as refined grains.

In addition to detailing their food choices, the study participants also recorded other lifestyle choices, health behaviors, and their medical histories.

Over the course of the study, 8,631 participants developed coronary heart disease, which the researchers defined as a nonfatal heart attack or dying of heart disease. Those who followed an overall plant-based diet were slightly less likely (an 8 percent reduction) to have developed coronary heart disease than those who didn’t.

But here’s where things get interesting. Those who followed a healthful plant-based diet had a substantial 25 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease, while those who followed an unhealthful plant-based diet had a substantial 32 percent increased risk.

This study is certainly not the last word on the subject. As an observational study, it can’t prove cause and effect like a randomized trial can. And the diet data came from self reports, which aren’t always accurate at measuring an individual’s diet. However, these diet assessments were validated against multiple-week diet records and biomarkers. Overall, this work adds to the substantial evidence that a predominately plant-based diet reduces the risk of developing heart disease.

It has two important take-home messages. One is that a plant-based diet is good for long-term health. The other is that not all plant-based diets are equally healthy. The kind that deserves to be highlighted in dietary recommendations is rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and unsaturated fats, and contains minimal animal protein, refined carbohydrates, and harmful saturated and trans fats.

In practice, this translates into eating mostly vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, and soy products in their natural forms; sufficient “good fats,” such as those in fish or flax seeds, nuts, and other seeds; very few simple and refined carbohydrates; and little or no red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy. It also means choosing quality over quantity.

Click here to read the rest of this article origially published in StatNews,com

 

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Young Women With Melanoma: Is Indoor Tanning to Blame?

Skin cancer ‘epidemic’ in under 30 expected to rise unless indoor tanning is restricted

by Charles Bankhead

Women with a melanoma diagnosis before age 30 had almost a 100% positive history for use of indoor suntanning facilities, a large retrospective case-control study showed.

Among the 63 youngest women with melanoma diagnoses, 61 had a history of indoor tanning. Younger women reported earlier and more frequent use of indoor tanning facilities as compared with patients whose melanoma diagnoses occurred later in life. A history of indoor tanning increased the likelihood of a melanoma diagnosis by two to six times among women 30 to 49. Men were about 50% less likely than women to engage indoor tanning, and data on the association with melanoma risk were inconclusive. Here are some hyperpigmentation treatments that can really help your skin.

The findings added to evidence linking indoor tanning to recent increases in melanoma incidence among young women. The study also provided support for legislative and regulatory efforts to restrict access to and use of indoor tanning facilities, wrote DeAnn Lazovich, PhD, of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and colleagues in JAMA Dermatology.

“Our results indicate that these efforts need to be accelerated and expanded beyond bans on minor access to indoor tanning to curb the melanoma epidemic, which seems likely to continue unabated, especially among young women, unless exposure to indoor tanning is further restricted and reduced,” the authors stated, alluding to the FDA’s proposed ban on use of indoor tanning equipment by people younger than 18.

Click here to read the rest of this MedPage Today article