October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, a health observance where the importance of breast awareness, education and research is highlighted by people and organizations worldwide, including AdventHealth Murray.
Last year, many people put off preventative care and screenings due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many things have changed during the pandemic, but your commitment to your health and those you love shouldn’t be one of them. Getting a mammogram isn’t something women should delay. Breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in women in the U.S. and having your annual mammogram could be lifesaving.
“Screening mammograms find breast cancer earlier,” said Craig Box, MD, surgical oncologist and medical director of the Edna Owens Breast Center at AdventHealth Gordon. “An earlier stage diagnosis typically equates with a higher cure rate, a better quality of life and simpler care.”
Annual mammograms are still the top-recommended screening for women because it allows the earliest possible detection of issues before you experience symptoms. Catching breast cancer early means:
- Therapies like breast conservation therapy will be most effective
- Treatment can begin early, possibly before cancer spreads to other parts of your body
- You’ll have the best possible chance for recovery
“Localized breast cancer is 98 percent curable when caught early,” said Lanell Jacobs, director of oncology services at AdventHealth Gordon. “That is why it is so important for women to get their mammograms at the appropriate age.”
It is recommended that women begin getting mammograms at age 40 unless there is a family history of breast cancer. If you’re between ages 20 and 40, you should have a clinical breast exam by your doctor every three years.
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