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Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Early detection can save your life!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the perfect time to remind you that early detection is the best way to fight the second most common type of cancer among women. The term “breast cancer” refers to a malignant tumor that has developed from cells in the breast and according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, 1 in 8 women in the United States will develop breast cancer in her lifetime.

Importance of doing self-check exams and getting regular mammograms

How often should I do a self-check exam?

We encourage adult women to perform breast self-exams at least once a month. Breast self-exams help you to become familiar with how your breasts look and feel so that you may detect any abnormal changes and report them to your healthcare provider.

According to John Hopkins Medical Center, “Forty percent of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump, so establishing a regular breast self-exam is important.”

When should I get a mammogram?

In addition to doing breast self-exams, it’s important to schedule a yearly appointment for a mammogram. Breast tumors can be detected by a mammogram before they can be felt, so it’s important to get screened for early detection and prevention. 

It is recommended for women ages 40 and older to undergo a mammogram every 1 to 2 years. For women ages 40 and younger who have risk factors for breast cancer like a family history of the disease, it’s recommended to speak to your doctor to identify how often you should get a mammogram.

Breast cancer can affect men

Breast cancer can also affect men, but is rare – less than 1% of all cases develop in men, and only 1 in 1000 men will ever be diagnosed with breast cancer. In reality though, men carry a higher mortality rate than women, due to the fact that there is less awareness of this disease among males which causes a delay in seeking necessary treatment. 

Men can also perform monthly breast self-exams to check for abnormal lumps or changes in breast tissue. It’s also important to discuss any abnormalities with your doctor to ensure early detection and prevention.

Annual mammograms are the best way to detect breast cancer for those with an average risk. Ed Fraser Memorial Hospital offers state-of-the-art digital mammography and convenient scheduling. Call us at 904-259-3151 to schedule your screening today. 

Ed Fraser Memorial Hospital is an ACR Accredited facility and offers state-of-the-art digital mammography as well as convenient scheduling.