Doctor's Orders

Dr. Allison

Welcome to our new page, Doctor's Orders! We all know that it's very important to follow your doctor's instructors (orders) carefully and be mindful of their advice about your health. This page will feature a monthly article from members of our medical board and/or from the medical community in the field of oncology for breast cancer. We will bring you information that will be useful to you as a breast cancer patient, advocate, or just for your personal knowledge. Enjoy!

Self-Breast Exam

Jean Richardson-Smith
Physician Assistant in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Naval Medical Center
Portsmouth, Virginia

I have anecdotally noticed - in most recent years- a trend. Younger patients are being diagnosed with breast cancer, and patients are finding out about breast cancer sooner than their annual or bi-annual mammograms.

Read more: Self-Breast Exam

Breast Health at Every Age

Kelley Z. Allison, MD
Director of Breast Imaging
Dorothy G. Hoefer Comprehensive Breast Center
Newport News, Virginia

A woman's lifetime risk of breast cancer is approximately 1 in 8. Early detection through screening mammography has been proven to decrease a women’s chance of dying from breast cancer by 30%. Along with annual mammograms, there are many healthy habits you can start which will help reduce your risk of breast cancer.

Read more: Breast Health at Every Age

3D Mammography

Dr. Kelley Z. Allison
Director of Breast Imaging
Dorothy G. Hoefer Comprehensive Breast Center

It is well known that screening mammography saves lives. Women who begin yearly mammograms starting at age 40 decrease their chances of dying from breast cancer by 30%. Although mammography is the best screening tool for breast cancer used today, it is not perfect. A major limitation of mammography is that is depicts a 3D object (normal breast) as a 2D image. The resulting overlap of normal breast tissue can thus obscure cancers making them difficult or impossible to detect.

Read more: 3D Mammography