The Importance of Breast Cancer Screening

Posted by Jason Wilson, RN, MBA

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Oct 21, 2016 8:15:25 AM

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Talk to your doctor about your risk and about the right time to get a mammogram.

Breast cancer is the second most common form of cancer in women. The sobering fact is about 1 in 8 women born today in the United States will get breast cancer at some point. The good news is that many women can survive breast cancer if it’s found and treated early.

Talk to a doctor about your risk for breast cancer, especially if a close family member of yours had breast or ovarian cancer, and about recommendations regarding mammograms.

Generally speaking, if you are a woman age 40 to 49, ask your doctor to help you determine when to start getting mammograms and how often to get them. Women who have a mother, sister, or daughter with breast cancer are at increased risk of developing breast cancer. These women may benefit more from beginning screening in their 40s than women who have no close relatives with breast cancer.

Typically, the value of mammograms increases with age, with women ages 50 to 74 benefitting the most. For those ages, the best balance between benefits and harms of screening comes from having a mammogram performed every two years. You may also choose to get them more often.

For detailed information about breast cancer, download What You Need To Know About™ Breast Cancer from the National Cancer Institute or visit the National Breast Cancer Foundation website.

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