One of the best ways to fight cancer is through early detection. In fact, the earlier the better. Now, more than ever, women should be especially concerned about the early detection of breast cancer, as it is the most common among women all over the world. Thus, a regular screening will greatly increase how successful your treatment may be.
What is breast cancer screening?
Screening for breast cancer involves using tests to check for signs of the disease.
What types of screening are there?
- Mammography screening is the most effective test for breast cancer, capable of detecting the disease far in advance of any symptoms. The test itself involves taking x-rays of your breast tissue. The recommended age for when to start mammography screening has changed a lot over the years. Currently, doctors recommend that if you do not have a family history of breast cancer, begin getting mammograms at 50 years old.
- Breast MRIs are another way of screening for cancer for women of higher risk (if you do have a family history, have already had breast cancer, or you carry the BRCA genetic mutation). This procedure is slightly more invasive, as an IV is required to provide a contrasting agent for the imaging.
- Breast Exams may be self-administered, but it is preferable to have an exam performed by a trained physician or your gynecologist. Although it is not recommended for early detection, the exam may reveal any abnormalities or possible warning signs.
What is the next step?
Let us consider the facts. Breast cancer will affect one in eight women in America – over 200,000 women will be diagnosed this year. However, the odds of successful treatment increase exponentially the earlier you detect cancer.
With reliable screening options available to you, take control of your health and take that first step! Call the office for more information.