As we begin October, we have to take a moment to recognize what this month represents to many women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. It is a devastating condition and one that can many times be prevented if women were to get their annual breast screening check. You are busy. You have plenty of things to do each day. However, this 30-minute appointment can save your life. If you have not done so yet, consider why you should be scheduling an appointment today to have your scheduled exam.
Early Screening Is Truly the Most Important Step
Today, there is new and ever-advancing technology available to help individuals to get a fast and easy breast cancer screening. The process does not hurt and can be done in a matter of minutes. However, it is lifesaving. Every year, there are many women found with early stage breast cancer. And, when removing it, it was possible to provide these individuals with a better quality of life as well as a longer life. In many ways, this type of cancer is highly treatable with a good success rate, but only when the patient sees the doctor often.
When breast cancer is in its early stages, it is the most treatable form. Yet, at this stage, the condition is very much hard to detect. You may not feel any different. A self-examination is not likely to be able to catch the smallest of these concerns. However, a yearly screening is all it takes to really learn what your options are.
When breast cancer is caught early, there are several key benefits:
• The condition is at an early stage. This means any type of treatment is going to be more localized and less painful for all who are involved in the process.
• Routine screenings can also help you to learn more about your risks and to spot any concerns as early as possible.
The bottom line is this – the use of a breast cancer screening can save your life. Early detection makes it possible for you to get it cared for right away. This maximizes your chances to live as well as allows you to have the confidence you need going forward.
What Do You Need to Do?
The American Cancer Society provides some key steps for you to take. For example, screening tests are designed to make it possible to find breast cancer long before there are any symptoms present. You may not be able to feel the lump yet.
Most of the time, a breast exam should be done by a gynecologist at least one time a year. For those at a higher risk, having it done more often may be necessary. Here are some guidelines to remember about screenings:
• If you are between the ages of 40 and 44, you should start getting a mammogram for the first time. Your doctor will provide information about any need to come back for another screening.
• For women aged 45 through 54, it is necessary to have an annual mammogram. This annual process should be a habit for you.
• If you are over the age of 55, you also need to take care of yourself. Some women may gain the approval from their doctors to skip a year. That is, getting a mammogram every other year may be enough for you. However, this type of screening is only allowable at a reduced frequency when the individual has no history of breast cancer.
It is important to still conduct self-examinations. In addition to this, it is important to follow up with a doctor to be sure you do not have any concerns. If possible, encourage your friends to get a screening as well. This is by far the most powerful step you can take in protecting your health long-term and allowing you to get early treatment if you need it. This can be life-changing, and it only takes a matter of a few minutes to complete.