Finding out you have breast cancer is scary. But not knowing you have breast cancer until it’s advanced is even scarier. That’s because the best way to successfully treat the disease is finding it early—when it’s small and hasn’t spread. That’s where screening comes in.
What is screening for breast cancer?
Screening means checking your breasts for any signs of cancer before you have symptoms. While screening can’t prevent cancer, it can help find it early. The most common breast cancer screening tests are:
- Mammography – Mammograms are the top-ranked screening tool. They’re an x-ray, or picture, of the inside of your breast. Getting regular mammograms can lower your risk of dying from breast cancer
- Breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – This test is used for women at high risk for breast cancer. It uses magnets and radio waves to take pictures of your breast. Specific genes and family history are a couple of the things that could make you high risk.
Other screening tests include breast exams done by a doctor or by yourself, thermography which uses a special camera that senses heat, and taking samples of your breast tissue.
Who should get screened?
The United States Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) is an organization made up of disease experts and doctors. They make recommendations on how to prevent or find diseases early. For breast cancer screening, they recommend:
- Women 50-74 and at average risk get a mammogram every two years
- Women 40-49 have a conversation with the doctor about when to start getting mammograms and how often to get them
RISE up and get screened now at the Henry J. Austin Health Center.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The National Breast Cancer Foundation’s goal this year is to Rally in Screening Everyone (RISE). Because black women are more likely to die of breast cancer, screening is even more critical if you’re part of this community.
Don’t wait. Schedule your Henry J. Austin breast cancer screening today by calling 609.278.5900.
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