Early detection is key to surviving breast cancer, and regular breast checks are an important tool to detect breast health issues at the earliest stages. The earlier breast cancer is detected, the less likely it is to spread and the more likely it can be halted before it has an opportunity to grow or metastasize (spread) to other areas. So what do we mean by “regular”?
Women should do self-exams at least once a month. According to nationalbreastcancer.org “Forty percent of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump”. Don’t know how to perform a self-exam? Follow the simple instructions by clicking this link: Breast Self Exams. If you use Christie’s Firming Neck and Décolleté Treatment, it can be a reminder to do your self-check and take good care of this important area of your body!
The American Cancer Society recommends mammograms every year after 45 to age 54, but remember that this is just a guideline and was changed from 40 to 45 only recently. The majority of health insurance companies will cover mammograms as early as age 40 without having to show a family history. You and your doctor should assess your personal risk and comfort level. Remember that cancers found in younger women are less common but can also be more aggressive, so early detection is key. If you have a family history of breast cancer, you should start mammograms ten years before the age your family member was diagnosed at.
If you schedule annual mammograms and visit your gynecologist every year, it can be a strategic approach to stagger these checks six months apart. That way, you will have a clinical exam every six months. Risk factors like family history or dense breast tissue may require additional testing. Discuss Ultrasounds, 3D Mammography, MRI or MBI (Molecular Breast Imaging) with your doctor.