About 13% of women are diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetimes, making it the second-most common type of cancer in women.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and there’s no time like the present to raise awareness, celebrate victory, and take a proactive approach toward protecting your own health.
When it comes to beating breast cancer, early detection is a major factor. Breast cancer is most treatable when detected in early stages, and mammograms are the most effective tool for doing so.
A mammogram is a low-dose breast X-ray, and most women should start getting annual mammograms around age 45.
Marc Wilson, MD, and our team at Women’s Health Specialists provide comprehensive health care for women in menopause, and we work with you to recommend the right screenings to protect your health.
If you should be getting annual mammograms based on your age and other risk factors, here’s why you should never skip one.
1. Early detection saves lives
The most important reason to get regular mammograms is simple: It can save your life. Breast cancer is highly treatable when detected in its early stages, and mammograms can find tumors long before they become palpable or cause noticeable symptoms.
Mammography decreases breast cancer mortality rates. The earlier breast cancer is detected, the more likely it is to be successfully treated, reducing the risk of death from the disease.
2. Enhanced detection of small tumors
Mammograms provide detailed images of your breast tissue, and they can detect small tumors that are easy to miss during a physical examination. These tiny, early stage tumors are often less aggressive and respond better to treatment.
Getting regular mammograms makes it easier to identify any changes as you get older, so Dr. Wilson can recommend additional testing if needed. By catching these changes and tiny tumors early, you can potentially avoid more aggressive cancer treatment therapies like chemotherapy or extensive surgery.
3. Improved treatment options
Early detection not only increases your chances of successful treatment and survival, but it also expands your range of treatment options.
Early stage breast cancer typically responds better to less invasive treatments than more advanced stage cancers. You may be a good candidate for a minimally invasive procedure, like lumpectomy, which involves removing only the tumor and some surrounding tissue.
Less invasive treatments like lumpectomy can lead to quicker recovery times and better quality of life without the need for chemotherapy.
4. Peace of mind
Along with enhanced detection, regular mammograms offer peace of mind. Getting mammograms empowers you with information about your health, so you can actively participate in your well-being.
Knowing that you're taking proactive steps to monitor your breast health can alleviate anxiety and uncertainty. If your mammogram results are normal, it provides reassurance. Detecting an abnormality offers the opportunity for early intervention and treatment.
Remember that mammogram recommendations aren’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Dr. Wilson and our team consider your age, health history, and family history to evaluate your risk of breast cancer and develop a personalized breast health plan, along with mammogram frequency recommendations.
Is it time for your annual mammogram? Don't skip it — make it a priority and do your part to invest in your health and your peace of mind.
Learn more with an appointment at Women’s Health Specialists in Denton, Texas. Call us at 940-202-0301 or send us a message online today.