Breast Cancer Awareness Month
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Even as the month is coming to a close the importance of building awareness on the impact of breast cancer has never been more important. The impact of the second most common cancer in women is felt every day across the country, but the work of screenings and early detection have steadily reduced the lethality of breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Statistics
- Roughly 12% of women in the United States will develop invasive breast cancer at some point in their life.
- Over 276,000 cases are expected to be diagnosis in 2020.
- This over 47,000 women will lose their battle with breast cancer.
- Early detection and advancements in treatment have steadily decreased the fatality rate of breast cancer.
- Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women.
- Less that 15% of women who have breast cancer have a family member with it. If a close relative has breast cancer, a women’s risk doubles.
As with most cancers, early detection and quality treatments are critical with preventing death with breast cancer. When found early breast cancer is much easier to treat however, many women with breast cancer have no symptoms. For the number of women who show no signs of breast cancer regular cancer screenings are vital. When detected early with regular screenings the 5-year relative survival rate of breast cancer is 99%. Knowing the risk factors, both ones you can change and ones you cannot, help you to understand what type and frequency of your regular screenings. When considering a screening regimen consult your healthcare professional and do research on screening types.
Types of screenings
Mammograms are a lighter form of x-rays for your breasts. These low dose x-rays allow for early detection long before physical symptoms show. Decades of research have shown that women who receive regular mammograms require less aggressive treatment due to early detection. It is important to remember that mammograms are not perfect. In some cases, further testing is necessary.
Breast MRIs can be used to help detect cancer for screen and for better understanding the extent to which the cancer has spread. For women at high risk, breast MRIs are highly recommended as a part of annual screenings.
Personal breast examinations are not often recommended by medical organizations as a reliable way of screening. However, regular self-examination creates a clear understanding of what breasts look and feel like normally. Any changes should be told to your health care professional.
If you have any questions about screenings or want to know your risk factors, please speak with your health care professional.
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