This month you’ll see a lot of pink, as October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Most of us know someone or have had a loved one affected by breast cancer. Thanks to tremendous progress in the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of breast cancer, millions of women are surviving the disease today.
Even with recent advances, current statistics show that one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.
However, with early detection, breast cancer patients have a much greater survival rate.
That is why it is so important for all women to perform monthly self-examinations in addition to a yearly mammogram for those over the age of 40. Women with a family history of breast cancer (i.e., mother, sister, or daughter) are at an increased risk of developing the disease and should begin monitoring earlier than age 40.
Should you detect any changes in your breast tissue (i.e., lump, swelling, redness, nipple discharge, or skin change) consult a physician immediately for further testing.
Fortunately, Baxter Regional Medical Center is one of the nation’s leaders in providing 3-D mammography to patients. This 3-D technology provides a much more thorough view of the breast tissue and allows earlier detection and diagnosis than traditional mammography.
I encourage all women to schedule an annual wellness checkup that includes a mammogram.