In the U.S., one in eight women will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime. Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women and the second leading cause of cancer death in women. In 2017, an estimated 232,670 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women. A woman’s risk of breast cancer nearly doubles if she has a first-degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. With the ever increasing number of women diagnosed with breast cancer, it is more important than ever to take action.
The size and extent of breast cancer are among the most important factors affecting the outcome of the diagnosis. This is why early detection is key. Early detection reduces the mortality rate of the disease by 25% to 30%. Regular screening mammograms give women the best chance of catching cancer early when the disease is the most treatable. Breast cancer detected during annual mammogram exams are more likely to be smaller and confined to the breast than cancers found other ways. Annual mammograms are the most important way women can reduce breast cancer mortality risk.
Mammograms are quick, easy and painless, causing only minimal discomfort for most women. Mammograms are safe. They require a very small amount of ionizing radiation. The precision of mammography is constantly improving. A recent study published found that more than 70% of women with fatal breast cancer outcome were not having annual screening mammograms. The median age of diagnosis of fatal breast cancers is 49 years old. Breast cancer risk increases with age. As we get older, our bodies are more likely to undergo abnormal changes, which sets the stage for cancer development. As a result, the American Cancer Society of Radiology and the Society for Breast Imaging recommend ongoing annual screening for all women beginning at age 40.
You can encourage other women in your life to protect themselves with annual mammograms by the example you set. Encourage a friend, family member, or co-worker to have an annual screening mammogram. Evergreen Medical Center Diagnostics offers digital mammograms Monday through Friday. Start taking action in your fight against breast cancer. Call EMC Diagnostics to schedule your annual mammogram today.