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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Mammograms Can Save Lives

This October, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we wish to remind you that early detection with mammography saves lives. Mammograms are noninvasive X-ray screenings of the breast which can be used to seek out abnormalities or cancer. Mammograms can find cancer even before it might be felt.

Larry Antonucci

Screening mammograms are advisable yearly for all women starting at age 40. Nonetheless, to make sure women are screened appropriately in accordance with their risk, the American College of Radiology (ACR) recently issued recent breast cancer screening recommendations. ACR urges women at higher risk for breast cancer, especially Black and Ashkenazi Jewish women, to discuss with their doctor or healthcare clinician about their individual risk by the age of 25 so that they can determine if screening sooner than 40 is required.

Some aspects which will increase your breast cancer risk include

  • Genetic mutations, including BRCA 1 and BRCA 2.
  • Starting menstrual periods before age 12 and starting menopause after age 55 – this prolonged exposure to hormones raises the danger of breast cancer.
  • Having dense breasts could make it hard to see tumors on a mammogram.
  • Having breast cancer once increases the danger of getting it a second time.
  • Family history, especially if a mother, sister or daughter (first-degree relative), or multiple members of the family on the mother or father’s side of the family have had breast cancer, the danger increases.

Mammograms are essential screening tools. Depending in your risk, your doctor or healthcare provider may additionally recommend breast MRI scans along with screening mammograms yearly since the MRI may also help find more breast cancers.

The underside line is that girls should understand their risk for breast cancer and discuss screening options and the timing of screenings with their doctor or healthcare provider.

To learn more about mammography at Lee Health, visit www.LeeHealth.org and enter ‘mammography’ within the search box. Within the event you or a loved one is diagnosed with breast cancer, the Lee Health Cancer Institute has a full team of cancer specialists, including nurse navigators, who take care of and support you each step of the way in which. The Lee Health Cancer Institute also holds nationally recognized accreditations form the Commission on Cancer and the National Accreditation Program for Breast Cancers.

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