How Breast Cancer Screenings Can Save Lives
Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer among women. Filipina women, in particular, are at a higher risk of contracting breast cancer due to factors such as genetics, lifestyle, and environmental factors. However, the good news is that early detection and screening can increase the chances of survival. Breast cancer screening can detect cancer at an early stage when it is still treatable, offering the best chance of survival.
In this blog, we will discuss the importance of breast cancer screening, the different types of screening available, and when to start screening.
Importance of Breast Cancer Screening
Breast cancer can develop without any symptoms or warning signs. The earlier the cancer is detected, the more effective treatment can be. Early detection and treatment can help save lives. Screening tests can help find breast cancer early when it is most treatable. In addition, screening can also detect precancerous cells, which are cells that have the potential to develop into cancer over time. Precancerous cells can be removed before they turn into cancer, reducing the risk of breast cancer.
Types of Breast Cancer Screening
There are different types of breast cancer screening. The two most common are mammography and clinical breast exams. A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast that can detect abnormalities, such as lumps or calcifications on the breast tissue. A clinical breast exam is a physical exam of the breast by a healthcare provider who can feel for lumps or other changes in the breast.
When to Start Breast Cancer Screening
The American Cancer Society recommends that women start having yearly mammograms at age 45, and then every two years after age 55. However, it is important to discuss with your healthcare provider when to start screening and how often you should have screening. For some women, screening may need to start earlier or may need to be more frequent, depending on their personal risk factors.
Breast self-exams involve checking your own breasts for lumps, changes in the size or shape of the breast, or changes in the skin of the breast. While a breast self-exam is not a substitute for a mammogram or clinical breast exam, it can complement your screening efforts. If you notice any changes in your breasts, contact your healthcare provider immediately.
Overcoming Barriers to Breast Cancer Screening
Many women face barriers to breast cancer screening, such as cost, lack of access to healthcare, fear, and embarrassment. However, there are programs that offer free or low-cost mammograms for those who cannot afford it. Health insurance plans are also a good way to cover the cost of screening. If you are afraid or embarrassed, talk to your healthcare provider about your concerns. They can provide reassurance and support during the process.
Breast cancer screening is an important tool in detecting and preventing breast cancer. Early detection can save lives, and regular screening can increase the chances of early detection. Do not let barriers or fear prevent you from getting screened. Talk to your healthcare provider about your risks and when to start screening. Remember, taking care of your health is the best gift you can give yourself and your loved ones.
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