Mammograms are More Important than Ever

Recent research suggests that breast cancer isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, it looks like the number of cases may increase 40 percent by the year 2030. Fortunately, the types of breast cancer that researchers see becoming more prevalent are very treatable, and the patterns they have discovered will help inform smarter screening and treatment options in the future. Right now, however, mammograms remain the best way we have to detect breast cancer early, so it’s important to keep current on these screenings.

The CDC recommends that women over 50 have a screening mammogram every two years, and that women over 40 talk with their doctor about recommendations based on their risk and health history. In addition, they recommend performing self-breast exams regularly to check for any changes or irregularities.

Warning signs of breast cancer can include:

  • A lump or pain in the breast.
  • Thickening or swelling of part of the breast.
  • Irritation or dimpling of breast skin.
  • Redness or flaky skin on the breast.
  • Pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area.
  • Fluid other than breast milk from the nipple, especially blood.
  • A change in the size or the shape of the breast.

If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your health care provider. Even if everything seems fine, it’s important to have regular breast exams at wellness checkups and to stay up-to-date on mammograms. Every little bit helps.

Sources: AACR.org, CDC.gov

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