Black To Life… For A Healthier You
During pregnancy, keeping a close eye on breast health
BY DR. ANNETTE MAYES
Women have been blessed with many innate gifts, and the investigative mind is especially valuable. Here’s a situation it should always be applied to: Although pregnant women typically experience swollen and tender breasts, it is important to pay special attention to any lumps that are discovered.
If you find a lump in your breast while pregnant, it doesn’t mean you have cancer — but it should be reported to your doctor and examined immediately. Don’t wait until after you have the baby. Mothers-to-be may worry that, should cancer be diagnosed, the treatment will harm the fetus or be ineffective. However, most initial treatments would include a mammogram, and small studies have shown that mammograms are fairly safe during pregnancy.
Most mammograms do not require a lot of radiation. For extra protection when having a mammogram while pregnant, a small lead shield is placed on the belly to block any possible radiation scatter. Ultrasound is considered a safer tool to see
inside the breast, and is usually performed before a mammogram to evaluate a palpable lump. One method of examining the breast that has not shown adequate evidence of safety is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Women who are pregnant should not be alarmed if a lump is identified and their doctor requests a biopsy. Only a small portion of tissue is taken from the identified lump for further examination — and when performed on pregnant women, there is little risk to the baby. Even if a biopsy is performed under general anesthesia if needed, there is just a small risk to the baby. This is a conversation mothers need to have with their doctors before agreeing to the procedure.
The Las Vegas All Women’s Care is here to provide excellent prenatal care.
For additional information, contact us at (702) 522-9640, or visit the office at 700 Shadow Lane No 165 (1st Floor) in Las Vegas.