Breast cancer: What you need to know

Group of breast cancer survivors.

Fla., ORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 15, 2018 — Hearing the words “it’s breast cancer” can make a woman’s world stand still. At any stage, the diagnosis can be terrifying and life-altering for her and her family.

The American Cancer Society reports that breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women, excluding skin cancers. In a group of eight women, probability says that one will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. But according to Dr. Olga Ivanov, breast cancer surgeon at Florida Hospital, breast cancer is easily treatable when found early.

“There isn’t one apparent thing that causes this type of cancer, but we are certain that the earlier it is found the better — that’s why it’s so imperative women take caution and stay informed,” said Ivanov.

Did you know?

· According to the American Cancer Society, African-American are 39 percent more likely to be diagnosed with advanced breast cancer than Caucasians.

· More than 265,000 women nationwide are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer this year.

· Women 40 and older should have an annual mammogram in addition to an annual clinical breast examination.

Although the facts sound scary, it is proven that early detection and treatment equates to a 96 percent survival rate in most cases. The earlier the cancer is found, the more likely it is beat. Mammograms play a key role in early detection of breast cancer — it's able to show changes in the breast up to two years before a woman or physician can feel them.

During October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, 10 communities through Central Florida are turning pink with flocks of yard flamingos — the symbol of Florida Hospital’s Pink Out. The Pink Out initiative raises funds, through sales of paper flamingos and donations, that provide access to breast cancer screenings and care to Central Florida’s underserved and uninsured. Pink Out has funded screening mammograms and additional diagnostic testing for close to 9,000 uninsured and underserved women since 2010. Several dozen of those women were diagnosed and treated for breast cancer as a result of the mammograms they received.

“Women often put the health care needs of others before their own, so we need to make it easy for women across our community to have access to the tools they need to stay healthy,” said Ivanov. “Getting a mammogram is not only extremely important, it can also be convenient and affordable.”

Throughout October, Florida Hospital is offering mammograms for $30 in 30 minutes without a physician’s referral at 13 Central Florida locations.

To learn more, or to schedule your mammogram, visit or call Call407-543-4399.