Ladies: Do Something Special for Your Health This Month

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women, except for skin cancers. About 1 in every 8 women in the United States will develop this type of cancer sometime during her life. It is also the second leading cause of death in women. For most women, mammography (x-rays of the breasts) provides the best way to find breast cancer at an early stage, when treatment is usually the most successful.

A mammogram is a low-dose x-ray of your breasts that can find many changes that are too small or too deep to feel. These simple breast x-rays are quick, easy, and safe. Mammograms use less radiation than a dentist’s x-ray. As you grow older, your chances of having breast cancer will increase. More than three-quarters of all breast cancers occur in women 50 and older.

There are recommended guidelines to follow according to your age to decide when you should have a mammogram.

  • Women ages 40 to 44 should have the choice to start annual breast cancer screening with mammograms (x-rays of the breast) if they wish to do so.
  • Women age 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year.
  • Women 55 and older should switch to mammograms every 2 years, or can continue yearly screening.
  • Screening should continue as long as a woman is in good health and is expected to live 10 more years or longer.

It is very important to talk with a health care provider about your risk for breast cancer and the best screening plan for you. You may also want to check with your insurance company to see how often they will pay for you to have a mammogram. Women should also know how their breasts normally look and feel and report any breast changes to their doctor right away.

Make a goal this month to remind all of the females in your life to schedule a mammogram - your mother, sisters, or daughters. It could save their life!

 

Free or inexpensive mammograms are available for women who do not have health insurance. If you would like information on this, need information on where to get mammograms or details related to breast cancer, please contact Four Corners Health Department: 1-877-337-3573 or locally @ 402-362-2621. You can also learn more about breast cancer and prevention at: www.cancer.org.