October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a month dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of early detection of breast cancer. Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women, with skin cancer being the most common. Medical studies have found that approximately 1 in 8 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. There are numerous ways you can partake in Breast Cancer Awareness Month this year.
- Perform a breast self-examination. A self-exam is rather simple and can be done at the comfort of your own home. You should perform these exams monthly. You can set a reminder in your phone so that you do not forget. During a self-exam, you should check your breasts for any visual changes in front of a mirror. Changes such as swelling, dents, odd coloring or lumps could be sign of breast cancer. You should also feel both of your breasts for any lumps or knots. If you notice any abnormal visual changes or lumps, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible for further evaluation.
- Schedule a mammogram screening. Annual mammograms are a key to early breast cancer detection and successful treatment. In fact, studies have found that a mammogram test can reduce the number of breast cancer deaths by 20 to 35 percent in women 50 to 60 years of age and approximately 20 percent in women 40 to 49 years old. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) recommends that by the age of 40, women should have their first mammogram. They then should receive an annual mammogram every one to two years. At Maryville Imaging, we provide quick mammography results in a comfortable environment with a courteous staff. Call us today to schedule your mammogram.
- Donate to the cause. Another way you can take part in Breast Cancer Awareness Month is to donate. There are countless organizations that work to spread early detection, education and support services. There are also research foundations that are working towards a cure for breast cancer. All you have to do is simply find an organization or foundation online that you wish to support, and you can help fund their efforts through a generous donation.
- Tell your friends, family, coworkers, anybody! Last but certainly not least, you can partake in this important initiative by sharing it with others. Encourage a close friend or loved one to schedule her mammogram screening too. Remind your sister or mother that she needs to perform breast self-exams monthly. This month is about raising breast cancer awareness and encouraging women to take charge of their breast health. A simple way to achieve this is by starting up a conversation.
Now that you know how you can play your part in Breast Cancer Awareness Month, you can start taking action. If you have any questions about your breast health, call your healthcare provider. If you are due for a mammogram, call us today at 618-288-4929. To learn more about our mammogram service, visit: http://maryvilleimaging.com/services/digital-mammography.