October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Every October, people all over the world show their support for people affected by breast cancer. It’s an opportunity to help people feel seen, inspire hope, and educate.
Breast Cancer — How Common Is It?
Except for skin cancers, breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women. There is approximately a 1 in 8 chance that a woman will develop breast cancer. It is also the second leading cause of death in women. However, at this time, there are almost 4 million breast cancer survivors in the United States alone, including women still being treated and those who have completed treatment and beaten the disease.
Risks & Prevention
Risks vary greatly between certain women, and some risk factors are simply out of your control. Factors such as getting older, inheriting certain genes, or having a family history are all major circumstances that you cannot change. Others have to do with your lifestyle, however, and therefore are more within your control. Excessive alcohol use, being overweight or obese, and not being physically active all increase your risk. And while there is no sure way to altogether prevent breast cancer, some things may lower your risk. For instance, for women with an increased risk because of a strong family history or a known gene mutation, close observation, genetic counseling and testing, and preventive surgery may be options you can take.
Early Detection & Diagnosis
Many women with breast cancer have no symptoms, and since early detection and diagnosis are crucial to effective treatment, regular breast screenings are essential. Mammograms, breast ultrasounds and breast MRIs are all used to detect cancers, while the most common early symptom is a new lump or mass. It’s important to have any breast change or anomaly checked by a health care provider. When a breast change that may be cancer is found, a biopsy is done — this is the only way to know for sure if it is in fact cancer.
What We Provide
Here at Ed Fraser Memorial Hospital, we can play a crucial role in your prevention and treatment of breast cancer. We offer a variety of diagnostic radiological services — and being a small rural hospital allows up to provide our patients with individualized treatment and exceptional care. Our radiology department offers:
- Digital Screening Mammograms
- Diagnostic Mammograms
- Breast Ultrasounds
- Ultrasound-guided breast biopsies
Following your screening, our Radiologist will review your results with you immediately. To schedule a radiology appointment, please call Central Scheduling at (904) 259-3151 ext. 3326. We also offer after-hours appointments so you can schedule your screening for a time that works best for you.
Whether you’re living with breast cancer, a breast cancer survivor, or just looking for answers and information, it’s possible to get help now and/or support the cause. Visit nationalbreastcancer.org to learn more about the disease and its October Awareness Campaign. You can also find more basic information at cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer.html.