Piedmont Columbus Regional Hospital Recognizing Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Screening Mammograms Important for the Early Detection of Breast Cancer
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Aside from skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women. In 2020, the American Cancer Society estimates that more than 325,000 cases of breast cancer (invasive and non-invasive) will be diagnosed in women in the U.S., and more than 42,000 will die from breast cancer.
Although U.S. deaths associated with breast cancer continue to decline, still more can be done to increase early detection and survival rates. Mammography is the best way to screen for breast cancer checking for the disease before symptoms appear. A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast which can detect abnormalities in the breast tissue earlier.
“Mammograms can detect cancer early — when most treatable — long before it can be felt. This improves odds of survival and can help avoid more extensive treatment,” said Altee Johnson, M.D. at Piedmont Physicians at Northside.
Regular mammography screening has been shown to lower the risk of dying from breast cancer. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network recommends routine mammography for women starting at age 40. Women are encouraged to speak with their primary care physician about their risk factors, as well as determine when is the right time for them to start getting screening mammograms.
Although no screening test is 100 percent effective, the combination of routine self breast exams, annual clinical breast exam, and mammography have been shown to be a very effective means of screening for breast disease.
Women should talk to their primary care physician to determine their risk for breast cancer and at what age they should begin screening for breast cancer. In addition to screenings, women should be familiar with how their breasts ordinarily look and feel and discuss any changes with their doctor right away.
For more information on breast health services at Piedmont or to schedule your mammogram, visit http://www.piedmont.org.
Courtesy: Jessica Roberts, Piedmont Columbus Regional Hospital