Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Prevention
Treatment for breast cancer is ever improving, but there’s still the best chance of survival if caught early on. According to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer sometime in their lives. There are a few things you can do to help early detection.
- Breast self-awareness: Conducting a breast self-exam once a month is a good way to watch for changes in your body. Understanding what is normal for you is so important. If you notice even slight changes in how they look or feel, contact your healthcare provider to make them aware and discuss next steps.
- Clinical breast exams: A yearly clinical breast exam may be recommended. This exam may be done by a gynecologist, family healthcare provider, nurse practitioner, or specially trained nurse. Yearly breast exams help to make sure that breast conditions are found early.
- Mammograms: There are two types of mammograms – diagnostic and screening mammograms.
- Screening Mammograms: Annual screening mammograms are encouraged starting at age 40. Discuss with your doctor to determine the best plan for you and any family history you may have. Also, call your insurance company to find out if you can have your baseline mammogram earlier than 40.
- Diagnostic Mammograms: If you notice any symptoms such as pain, lumps, nipple discharge, or skin discoloration, you’ll most likely have a diagnostic mammogram right away instead of a screening mammogram. Or, if anything new shows up on the screening, they may have you come in for a diagnostic mammogram to get a better look.
You can schedule your screening mammogram at Fort HealthCare on weekdays, when it is convenient for you, including some evenings until 5:30pm. Simply call (920) 568-5420.