October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month—a time to promote regular mammograms and increase early detection of breast cancer.
About one in eight women in the United States will get breast cancer. Other than skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common kind of cancer in women. Mammograms can help find breast cancer early when there is the best chance for treatment.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, breast cancer is the number one cause of cancer death in Hispanic women. It is the second most common cause of cancer death in White, Black, Asian/Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaska Native women.
Women should know how their breasts normally look and feel and report any breast change promptly to their health care provider.
The American Cancer Society recommends:
A breast self-exam (BSE) as an option for women starting in their 20s.
A clinical breast exam (CBE) about every 3 years for women in their 20s and 30s; and every year for women 40 and over.
A yearly mammogram (xray) for women starting at age 40 and continuing for as long as a woman is in good health.
Some women, because of their family history, a genetic tendency, or certain other factors, should be screened with MRI in addition to mammograms. (The number of women who fall into this category is small: less than 2 percent of all the women in the US.) Talk with your doctor about your history and whether you should have additional tests at an earlier age.
Concerned about costs? There may be a free or low-cost mammogram program near you. Find out here: http://1.usa.gov/kKoe8B.
Did you know? Breast cancer can also occur in men. According to the National Cancer Institute, about 2000 men are diagnosed each year. See more here: http://1.usa.gov/mzL2Dz.