Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in women in The Bahamas, with an estimated 300-500 new cases each year.
Additionally, it is being diagnosed at younger ages in The Bahamas as compared to the United States or other parts of the world. Roughly 48% of the women diagnosed with breast cancer in The Bahamas are under the age of 50. The average age of diagnosis in The Bahamas is 42, as compared to 62 in the United States.
The Importance of Getting a Mammogram
These statistics indicate that it is more important than ever for Bahamian women to be vigilant in screening for breast cancer. Early detection is critical to improving survival rates. One in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime, but with early detection women can opt for less invasive treatment options. That’s why annual screenings — and the right mammography choice — are so important.
Family Medicine Center is committed to the fight against breast cancer.
“Our goal is to provide the Bahamian community with the highest standards of healthcare. The Genius 3D mammography exams are state of the art technology and are a useful tool for Bahamian women in the fight against breast cancer,” said Dr. Graham Cates, Family Physician and Director.
“Statistics have shown that Bahamian women have a disproportionately high possibility of developing breast cancer. Additionally, Bahamian women are diagnosed with breast cancer at younger ages, and in later stages, than women in North America. We aim to provide our patients and our community with the highest quality care and most innovative services and technology,” said Dr. Cates.
With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Family Medicine Center is encouraging women not to procrastinate in scheduling a mammogram. A social media campaign has been launched, aimed specifically at Bahamian women, with the hashtag #checkyabubbies.
“As a general rule, screening should begin at age 40. However, based on your risk factors for breast cancer, your healthcare provider may recommend screening at an earlier age,” said Dr. Tonya Roker-Davis, Family Physician at Family Medicine Center.
“Throughout October we are offering a special rate of $100 (before VAT). Plus those who come in for mammograms will receive goodie bags and additionally they will be entered into a raffle which will be drawn at the end of the month,” said Dr. Cates.
Why Choose 3D mammography
Dr. Roker-Davis also encourages opting for a 3D mammogram over the traditional 2D mammograms.
During the 3D exam, an X-ray arm sweeps in a slight arc over the breast, taking multiple images. A computer then converts the images into a stack of thin layers, allowing the radiologist to review the breast tissue one layer at a time. A Genius exam requires no additional compression and takes just a few seconds longer than a conventional 2D breast cancer screening exam. It also exposes the patient to less radiation than standard mammograms, making it a safer option.
“3D mammograms are more accurate and precise than 2D mammography. This is best explained using the analogy of a book. If you look from above at the book, you are able to see the cover but not the actual pages. This describes standard mammography. However, if you were to open the book you can go through the entire book…page by page to see every layer between the covers. This is how 3D mammography works,” said Dr. Roker-Davis.
Utilizing advanced breast tomosynthesis technology, Genius exams are clinically proven to significantly increase the detection of breast cancers, and also decreasing the number of women asked to return for additional testing. Plus, studies show that Genius™ 3D Mammography™ has greater accuracy than conventional mammograms for women across a variety of ages and breast densities.
If you would like to schedule a 3D Mammography exam, or have questions about this important breast health procedure, please contact Family Medicine Center at 702-9310.
Family Medicine Center