Radiologist stresses importance of mammograms - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Radiologist stresses importance of mammograms

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 by Jason Salas

Guam - It's critically important that Guamanians get mammograms. While it's procedure that both genders fear out of receiving the dreaded news that they could have cancer, it's a proven medical procedure that can also give you information early enough to save your life.

And there's a learned expert in the field of breast imaging now here on island, helping people through the process.

With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Guam Regional Medical City is encouraging island residents to get screened for breast cancer. The organization is educating Guamanians on why it's important to get mammograms, as well as the types of activities and lifestyles they can lead to avoid the disease. And since April, the island has had the skills and expertise of Dr. Chad Mills, a respected radiologist specializing in breast imaging and screening mammography, right here on the island.

He explains the prime reason why people need to get screened, telling KUAM News, "Women that are age 40 and over, it's recommended as a standard of care that they start screening those women annually with screening mammography. So that's sort of where I start. And these are patients that have absolutely no complaints and there's nothing wrong with them after a physical exam."

They also address concerns patients who may have discovered abnormalities with their breasts like growths or lumps, and then determine through imaging if a biopsy is necessary. "The purpose of screening mammography is early detection for breast cancer. This is to find cancers that are very small - three, four, or five millimeters. If you can diagnose a cancer at that stage and at that size, you've basically offered a woman a cure," said Dr. Mills.

And the services are also applicable to men, as well, as the radiologist explained, "Men can get breast cancer. There are also other benign diseases that men can get in the breast - the most common is called gynecomastia, which is a proliferation of the breast tissue in a man."

Getting a mammography is essential preventive medicine, and needs to be done by everyone.

Dr. Mills is currently practicing at the Guam Memorial Hospital and will start permanently at the Guam Regional Medical City once it opens.

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