October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and a perfect time for women who are due for a mammogram to schedule one.
The American Cancer Society has released an important finding —
advanced breast cancer among women under the age of 40 is on the rise.
The study indicates that between 1976 and 2009, the incidence of breast
cancer that spread to the bones or other organs before being diagnosed
tripled in women under 40. The highest increase was in women between the
ages of 25 and 34.
“Clearly, the impression that breast cancer is something you need to
worry about only when you are older is false. Breast cancer can strike
anyone at any age,” says Rachel P. Dultz, MD,
FACS, Medical Director of the University Medical Center of Princeton
at Plainsboro (UMCPP) Breast Health Center (pictured below). “That’s why
breast health is so important and why regular breast self-exams and
mammograms are essential.”
age 40 and older should have a mammogram every one to two years, while
women under the age of 40 who have any of the known risk factors for
breast cancer should discuss appropriate screening with their doctors.
Risk factors include a prior diagnosis of breast cancer, family history,
inherited gene mutations (such as BTCA1 and BRCA2), radiation exposure
as a child or young adult, obesity, beginning menstruation at a young
age, having a first child after age 35, taking postmenopausal hormone
therapy, and drinking alcohol.
UMCPP is nationally recognized for its excellence in a full spectrum
of breast care, from preventive services like mammograms to advanced
cancer treatments. The state- of-the-art UMCPP Breast Health Center
is one of only about 5 percent of breast imaging facilities nationwide
designated as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American
College of Radiology.
Advanced breast imaging capabilities available at UMCPP’s main campus
in Plainsboro include state-of-the-art 3.0T MRI and MRI breast biopsy
services. The hospital's Breast Health Center in East Windsor offers
sonographic and mammographic evaluations, as well as ultrasound-guided
biopsies and stereotactic biopsies, which can be completed promptly
focus is on providing the best individualized preventive care,
diagnostic services and treatment available,” says Christopher L.
Ananian, MD, (pictured right) Director of Medical Imaging at the Breast
Health Center. “The recipe for successful outcomes when it comes to
breast cancer begins with early detection, which is a two-fold process:
You, as the patient, need to follow the screening recommendations for
your age and medical and family background, and we, as your healthcare
providers, need to be equipped with the most advanced diagnostic
equipment and skilled staff to identify any abnormalities and treat them
For more information, or to schedule an appointment at the Breast
Health Center, call 609.688.2700. To find a physician affiliated with
the Princeton HealthCare System, call 1.888.PHCS4YOU (1.888.742.7496) or