Breast cancer and cervical cancer are two of the most potentially aggressive and fatal types of women’s cancer, so women know to visit their OB/GYN annually in order to have checks and tests for any precancerous indicators. If these cancers are caught early, they can usually be cured.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that, though cervical cancer rates are declining, about 4,000 American women succumb to the disease annually. With breast cancer, the rates of mortality are much higher per the CDC, with about 40,000 women across the U.S. dying from this invasive malignancy every year.
Women who have regular visits with their gynecologist are much less likely to develop these serious cancers, because the early cancerous cells can be caught and treated. Let’s talk about how an OB/GYN can detect and treat breast cancer and cervical cancer, and where you can go in Decatur and DeKalb County for world-class gynecology care.
What Can Be Done About Cervical Cancer?
One of the most effective weapons in the war against cervical cancer is routine screening by your gynecologist. For women between the ages of 21 and 65, or for those who are sexually active at younger ages, your OB/GYN physician will administer yearly Pap smear examinations.
In a Pap smear, the gynecologist will first visually inspect the area, which is located at the upper end of the vaginal canal. The doctor then gently scrapes the cervix to obtain cell samples for microscopic evaluation in a lab.
This test will reveal any precancerous and cancerous changes early on so treatment can begin expeditiously and effectively. If cancer is discovered, your OB/GYN can remove the cancer cells.
How Is Breast Cancer Tested and Treated?
Breast cancer screening ideally involves your monthly at-home breast exam, a yearly manual in-office exam by your gynecologist, and regular mammograms per your OB/GYN’s recommendations.
During your monthly and yearly manual exams, you and your doctor are checking for even the slightest lumps, any changes in texture and shape of the skin on the breast, and any discharge out of the nipple.
Additionally, your women’s healthcare expert may advise having these important examinations:
- Three-dimensional mammogram, especially for women who have very dense breast tissue
- Breast ultrasound, which uses no-radiation sound waves to reveal structures and any abnormalities deep in the breast tissue
- Breast biopsy – either a surgical or needle biopsy – to diagnose unusual cells, and to determine whether they are cancerous
Your physician can give you individualized advice about how frequently you should have these screenings for breast cancer and/or cervical cancer, especially if you have a first-degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) who has had either of these cancers or if you have tested positive for the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene variants.
If breast cancer is found, you and your OB/GYN will discuss your treatment options. They may include:
Cervical and Breast Cancer Screening and Diagnostics in Stone Mountain, GA
At Dekalb Women’s Specialists, we deliver compassionate, thorough, and accurate diagnostic services for a wide array of women’s health issues. From cervical cancer and breast cancer to endometriosis to infertility and high-risk pregnancy, it’s our job to keep you healthy. That means regular screenings and diagnostic services which yield valuable information for you and your OB/GYN.
Contact us today to learn more about our breast cancer and cervical cancer diagnostic services, which are offered at all three locations in DeKalb County: Decatur, Stonecrest, and Stone Mountain. To schedule an appointment, call us at (404) 508-2000, or fill out our easy-to-use appointment request form now. Let’s partner together in keeping you healthy.