October is Breast Cancer Awareness month! As we move towards the end of the month, let’s review some facts about breast cancer and what we can do to screen for breast cancer and treat it.
Facts about breast cancer:
- 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime
- Breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women, except skin cancer.
- On average, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every 2 minutes
- Death rates from breast cancer have been declining since 1990 due to better and earlier screening, increased awareness, and improved treatment options
Risk factors for breast cancer:
- Age: 2/3 of women with breast cancer are over 55 years old
- Family history of genetically linked cancer
- Early start of menstruation (before age 12) and late menopause (over age 55)
Screening for breast cancer:
- The American College of OB/Gyns advocates for patients to be breast self-aware, meaning sense of what is normal for your breasts so that you can tell if there are changes
- Women who are <40 years old should have a clinical breast exam by a healthcare professional every 1-3 years and yearly once turning 40 years old
- Women should start having annual mammograms starting at age 40, continuing until age 75
Diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer:
- If there is an abnormality found on your mammogram, you may undergo a breast biopsy to determine if there are cancerous cells
- If cancer is detected, you will be referred to a breast surgeon and/or a breast oncologist
- In general, there are five treatment options, and most treatment plans include a combination of surgery, radiation, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapies. Some are local, targeting just the area around the tumor. Others are systemic, targeting your whole body with cancer fighting agents.
Premier OB-Gyn is accepting new patients in both our Maitland, FL and Oviedo, FL locations. We would be happy to see you! Please call 321-397-1212 or visit www.premierob-gyn.com to book your appointment!