A report from the American Cancer Society says that global breast cancer deaths among women could double within the next 13 years. Although much of this predicted growth is in developing countries, the figure reminds us of the importance of breast cancer screening.
Breast cancer deaths could double by 2030
As the report points out, an increase in cancer-related deaths is to be expected with a growing and aging population. However, other factors may also contribute to this forecast. Increasingly sedentary lifestyles, poor diet, and unhealthy behaviors such as smoking all contribute to various types of cancer.
In fact, an editorial that accompanied the report claimed that nearly one third of the cancer deaths reported were potentially avoidable. Lifestyle choices like avoiding tobacco, exercising regularly, and eating right reduce the chance of developing various kinds of cancer.
Whatever the reasons, increasing rates of cancer death make it even more important to screen for breast cancer.
Breast cancer screenings can save lives
Breast cancer can be treated. Screening can help catch breast cancer in its early stages when it is most treatable. There are several different methods for breast cancer screening.
- Checking your breasts for signs or symptoms of breast cancer is known as a breast self-exam. Noticing lumps, pain, or changes in breast appearance, can be a good indicator that it’s time to meet with your doctor. However, breast cancer does not always cause noticeable symptoms, and you shouldn’t rely on self-examinations.
- Clinical breast exams are physical examinations performed by medical professionals. Your doctor or nurse may check for pain, lumps, or changes in breast size, shape, or appearance.
- Women at high risk for breast cancer may have a breast MRI. An MRI uses magnets and radio waves to provide an image of the breasts.
- The best way to screen for breast cancer is with a mammogram. Mammograms provide an X-ray image allowing doctors to get a detailed look at the inner structure of the breasts.
The best method for detecting breast cancer is with a mammogram
Early detection is key, and mammograms are the best way to find breast cancer in its early, most treatable stages. The Breast Center recommends screening mammograms every year starting age 40. When was your last mammogram? Contact The Breast Center today to discuss screening options.