BREAST CANCER – AWARENESS CAMPAIGN
Breast Cancer is one of the most common cancers among women, and today the number of lives lost due to Breast Cancer has decreased thanks to early detection via specialized screening methods. Breast Cancer is age-related cancer and occurs mostly in women above the age of 45. Only 5% of all Breast Cancer cases are detected in women younger than 40. However, depending on how high your risk for the condition is, your doctor will advise you on whether you need to be screened and when.
Screening is a series of tests conducted on a person to detect a disease even before it shows visible symptoms. This is done to identify the disease in its very initial stages when it can be treated most effectively. The kind of screening test depends on cancer that the person is at risk for. In the case of Breast Cancer, there are a set of screening tests that can be done. However, it is up to your doctor to decide which is best suited for the patient taking into consideration the following factors:
- Age of the patient
- Whether the patient is at high risk for breast cancer
- Overall health of the patient
BREAST CANCER SCREENING TESTS
- Ultrasound Breasts and Mammography
This is the most common screening test for Breast Cancer. It is a low-dose x-ray of the breast and can show changes in the breast that could develop into cancer long before physical symptoms occur. A mammogram can be an x-ray of the breast, a digital picture of the breast, or a series of digital images of the breast taken from different angles to get a better view of the internal structures. This is called Digital Breast Tomosynthesis and it provides a detailed visual. Studies show that advances in DBT have reduced the chances of a False-Positive result, therefore improving accuracy in Breast Cancer Diagnosis, and also increasing the survival rate. Mammograms may not be able to detect cancer in women with dense breasts, which is the case in younger women. Women less than 40 years are screened with ultrasound or MRI in high-risk patients.
If a lump or any tissue irregularity is noticed in any of the screening tests, the doctor will prescribe a biopsy in which some tissue is taken and sent to the lab for testing. This will confirm whether the lump is cancerous or benign.
BENEFITS OF BREAST CANCER SCREENING
The scope for cancer cure is high when it is detected in its initial stages. Once the tumor grows and begins to spread beyond the primary site, more therapies must be combined. Breast Cancer is one of the few cancers that can be detected long before physical signs occur, and this improves the chances for a cure. Hence it is important for women to talk to their doctor and find out if they are at high risk and if they require a screening test. It is advisable for women above the age of 50 to get a mammogram done every year or as their doctor deems necessary. Women, less than 40 years need to have mammogram once in 2 years and an ultrasound annually.
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Participate in Dr.KMH’s Breast Cancer Awareness Camp – Think Pink! Early Detection for Your Protection