To Your Health: Yearly mammogram could save your life
BY THE AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY October 1, 2013 2:38PM
A mammogram machine at Palos Community Hospital. | Donna Vickroy~Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 3, 2013 6:10AM
Scheduling your yearly appointment with your doctor?
Make sure your visit includes the appropriate early-detection tests for breast cancer, such as a mammogram or clinical breast exam. It could save your life.
Yearly mammograms and breast exams for women age 40 and older can find breast cancer early, when the disease is most treatable.
Getting screened for breast cancer can make a dramatic difference in a woman’s chances of surviving this disease. The five-year survival rate for breast cancer that has not spread to lymph nodes or other locations outside the breast is 98 percent. However, if the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes, the rate drops to 84 percent. And if the cancer has spread to other organs, the rate drops to 24 percent.
So don’t wait — ask your doctor which screening tests are right for you, and remind the women you care about to get a mammogram and breast exam every year once they turn 40.
Remember, though, that testing for breast cancer is not perfect. Mammograms and breast exams can miss some breast cancers, so be sure to tell your doctor right away about any changes in the way your breasts look and feel.
You can help finish the fight against breast cancer. For more information on how you can stay well, call the American Cancer Society at (800) 227-2345 or visit cancer.org/breastcancer.