Detecting serious issues related to breast cancer early increases that chances of survival by as much as 98%.
A recent study analyzing mammography rates across the country revealed Idaho as one of the lowest performers nationwide. The study revealed over 50% of Idaho women over 40 opting not to receive breast exams, even when most of those women had health care coverage.
This may be in part because some women feel, as there is nothing in their family’s medical history to indicate cancer, they will be fine. Interestingly, 85% of all women in the US with breast cancer didn’t have predispositions in their family’s medical history.
Another hesitancy may come from busy schedules. With as many priorities that men and women have, it’s hard to find time to fit in a doctor’s visit for the kids, let alone for themselves. With that in mind, it may surprise you to learn that a mammogram only takes 15 minutes.
Early detection is vital
Whatever the hesitancy, early detection is a vital part of fighting breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, detecting serious issues related to breast cancer early increases that chances of survival as much as 98%. In short, the sooner you check, the sooner you can treat.
Good early detection plans consist of self-exams, medical check-ups, and mammograms. While self-exams should occur monthly, medical check-ups and mammograms depend on age. For women under 40, every three years is the standard and women over 40 should have professional examinations done annually.
For self-examination, use move fingertips in a circular motion around your breast, checking for lumps. Repeat this simple process once a month to stay ahead of breast cancer. A more detailed, step by step guide to self breast examination can be found on the National Breast Cancer Association’s website.
What to do next
Don’t wait to set up an appointment with your family doctor or OBGYN. Tell them about anything you find during your self-examination, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Open dialogue is what will help you stay ahead of breast cancer.