One of the biggest factors in beating breast cancer is early detection. That’s why it’s necessary to get screenings that can help detect the disease as soon as possible.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which focuses on the importance of early detection and treatment. Breast cancer is the number one cancer diagnosed in women and one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime.
As you age, the recommendations for screening change, but no matter how old you are, it is important to be self-aware. Talk to your health care provider if you notice any changes.
Women in their 30s should get a clinical breast exam every one to three years, and women in their 40s should get an annual screening mammogram.
Dr. Paul Brock, a Harbin Clinic surgeon and one of the founding physician leaders of The Breast Center at Floyd in Rome, Ga., said women who have an annual breast exam beginning at age 40 and make it an annual practice have better outcomes.
“Annual screenings give us a baseline that we can compare future images with. They help detect cancers early, and the earlier we diagnose breast cancer, the better the outcome for the patient,” Dr. Brock said.
Women in their 50s, 60s and beyond should continue to receive annual screening mammograms and clinical breast exams. If you have any questions or concerns, always ask your health care provider.
Managing breast health is important no matter your age. An interactive website from Floyd offers women (and men) the opportunity to learn more about taking control of their breast health, from their 20s to their 60s and beyond.
The website, https://sayknow.floyd.org, allows a user to choose three breast health topics that are important to them or that they have questions about. Users will then get detailed information about those choices based on their age range. Topics include preventive care, breast pain, mammograms, clinical breast exams and genetic testing.
“We use the phrase ‘Say Know to Breast Cancer.’ For me that really defines how the absence of knowledge can impact a woman’s ability to not only understand her breast health but be in control of her breast health,” said Aimee Griffin, director of The Breast Center at Floyd and director of Imaging Services for Floyd. “When you understand what is normal and what’s not normal, it really puts you in a position to take control of your health.”
Visit https://sayknow.floyd.org to get your personalized report.