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In the past, breast cancer most commonly presented as a mass on physical exam. Today, mammographic screening and public awareness has lead to the diagnosis of breast cancer being made at an earlier, non palpable stage. This has lead to a decrease in the death rate from breast cancer.

Radiologists look for changes in a woman’s mammogram such as a new density or mass,  microcalcifications, and/or architectural distortion. Mammograms miss approximately 10%- 15% of all breast cancers, therefore other imaging studies now aid in the diagnosis. Ultrasound is a simple, non-invasive modality that uses sound waves to identify masses or areas of distortion within the breast. Although ultrasound should not be used as a screening method, it can be very effective in evaluating dense breasts.

Likewise, MRI has emerged as a very effective procedure in evaluating mammographically dense breasts, researching discordant findings, and in assessing high risk women. Image guided biopsies with small, core needle devices, which utilize any of the methods above, are the recognized standard in the diagnosis of breast cancer.

Coastal Carolina Breast Center's method of care, coupled with their policy that all women, regardless of their ability to pay are seen and treated, has turned heads in the medical field.  “No woman should ever be turned away because of an inability to pay,” said Dr. Brackett, Founder, "and in our practice, no woman ever has." Early detection and modern therapy with a combination of surgery, radiation and drugs, are key.

Early detection is one of the most important strategies to improve breast cancer survival. Keys to early detection include: