October is here - it’s Breast Cancer awareness month. Look for frequent posts this month. It’s imperative that we increase awareness in our communities.
American Cancer Society has published general guidelines for screening. These guidelines are for women at “average risk” for breast cancer. For screening purposes, a woman is considered to be at average risk if:
1) she doesn’t have a personal history of breast cancer
2) a strong family history of breast cancer, or a genetic mutation known to increase risk of breast cancer (such as in a BRCA gene)
3) has not had chest radiation therapy before the age of 30.
Guidelines: Women between 40 and 44 have the option to start screening with a mammogram every year. Women 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year. Women 55 and older can switch to a mammogram every other year, or they can choose to continue yearly mammograms.
All women should understand what to expect when getting a mammogram for breast cancer screening – what the test can and cannot do. More on this later.
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