One in eight American women will have breast cancer in her lifetime. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It’s important to build awareness of breast cancer for a variety of reasons, but one of the most important is this: early detection of breast cancer significantly increases chances of survival.
Why early detection matters
Women who find out about their breast cancer early have a 93% chance of survival in the first five years. Early detection makes an enormous difference in treatment options.
Breast cancer can involve four stages. In Stage 4 breast cancer, the cancer spreads to other parts of the body. The most common affected body parts are the bones, lungs, liver, and brain.
This is why women should begin getting annual mammograms at age 40.
How can women be sure of early detection?
Regular screening is the best way to ensure early detection. For most women at average risk, you should have a mammogram at about the same time every year. However, if you have a higher than average risk for breast cancer, a personalized screening plan may be recommended. If your mammogram report indicates you have dense breast tissue, a breast ultrasound screening is recommended in conjunction with your annual mammogram.
At The Breast Center, every woman is screened for breast cancer risk during registration. If your personal or family history indicates a higher risk, the mammography tech or breast radiologist may recommend a Risk Assessment appointment. During a risk assessment appointment, a specially trained nurse will talk to you about your personal risk factors and develop a personalized screening plan that may include genetic testing, breast ultrasound, breast MRI, or more frequent screening.
Why not schedule a mammogram for your birthday, near Mother’s Day, Sisters’ Day, or another special date? A screening mammogram appointment only takes about 25 minutes. You can have your mammogram with a friend and then go get lunch to celebrate making your health a priority.
Symptoms of Breast Cancer
If there are any changes in your breasts, make an appointment with your doctor. Some of the changes that may be signs of breast cancer or other breast health issues are listed below:
- A lump or swelling in the breast that feels different from the surrounding tissue
- Changes in the shape or size of the breast
- Changes in the skin of the breast, including pitting (like the skin of an orange) or rash or scaling
- Discharge from the nipple
- Breast pain
If you experience any of these signs, talk with your doctor as soon as possible. These are not always signs of breast cancer, but they are signs you need to talk to get checked out. Your doctor may recommend a diagnostic mammogram.
The Breast Center
The Breast Center is an Accredited Breast Center by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers and is designated a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology.
Request an Appointment or call (479) 442-6266 / Toll Free (866) 718-6266.