As Breast Cancer Awareness Month is upon us, it’s an important time to not only reflect on those who have fought their own cancer battles but those who are yet to fight. According to the CDC, as of 2017, roughly 125 people out of 100,000 will be diagnosed with breast cancer each year which means 250,520 cases of breast cancer are reported each year. This means the lives of 250,520 will be changed forever. Now it’s important to realize no one is immune to breast cancer, but we can make choices that could save lives. One way to be proactive about your breast health is to get yearly physicals as well as yearly breast exams and mammograms. Starting at age twenty, anyone with breasts should start to palpate their own tissue and become accustomed to how their body feels. This way if something does change you’ll be aware of it. Part of the yearly physicals should also include breast palpation by a licensed physician. This is the best diagnostic tool for younger people because young breast tissue tends to be dense, making a mammogram less useful. Starting at age 40-45 people with breasts should start getting yearly mammograms. Part of the decision for early screening has to do with family history and other risk factors, your doctor should help you decide which course of action is best for you.
Once you start getting yearly mammograms it is important to make sure you or your radiologist keep all of your films on file. This way doctors can compare your breast tissue from year to year, tracking any changes that may have occurred. Your GreenField Physician can help you pick a radiologist that will work best for you and can recommend the proper preventative care for you.