October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. Most people are aware of breast cancer, but many forget to take the steps to have a plan to detect the disease in its early stages and encourage others to do the same. Here are a few important things to know about breast cancer.
What is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month?
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a chance to raise awareness about the importance of early detection of breast cancer. This is down by spreading the work about mammograms and encouraging communities, organizations, families and individuals to get involved.
How National Breast Cancer Awareness Month Makes a Difference
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is used as opportunity to spread the word about steps women can take to detect breast cancer early.
Early Detection of Breast Cancer
The 5-year relative survival rate is 100 percent when breast cancer is detected early, and is in the localized stage. Early detection includes doing monthly breast self-exams, and scheduling regular clinical breast exams and mammograms.
Breast cancers that are found because they are causing symptoms tend to be larger and are more likely to have already spread beyond the breast. In contrast, breast cancers found during screening exams are more likely to be smaller and still confined to the breast.
The size of a breast cancer and how far it has spread are some of the most important factors in predicting the prognosis (outlook) of a woman with this disease.
Diagnosis of Breast Cancer
Multiple tests are used to diagnose breast cancer, including a mammogram, ultrasound, MRI and biopsy.
A mammogram is an x-ray that allows your doctor to examine the breast tissue for any suspicious areas. In a diagnostic mammogram, more x-rays are taken, which provides views of the breast from multiple vantage points.
A breast ultrasound is a scan that uses penetrating sound waves that do not affect or damage the tissue and cannot be heard by humans.
A magnet connect to a computer transmits magnetic energy and radio waves (not radiation) through the breast tissue during a breast MRI. It scans the tissue, which makes detailed images of areas within the breast.
A biopsy of the breast is a test that removes tissue or sometimes fluid from the suspicious area. The removed cells are examined under a microscope and further tested to determine if there is presence of breast cancer.
How Can I Help Spread Awareness?
We’ve made it easier for those wanting to raise awareness about breast cancer. Here is a toolkit full of ideas to help take action today. For example:
- Add information about breast cancer screening to your newsletter.
- Tweet about National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
- Add this Web badge to your website.
Are you looking for more ways to help spread awareness for breast cancer? Contact Brashear Family Medical Center with the link below for more information!
Is it time for your mammogram? Contact us with the link below to schedule your appointment today!