Receiving a regular breast cancer screening—which tests for this disease before any signs of it are evident—may seem tiresome and an even waste of time. However, it has proven to save millions of women’s lives.
You see, other than skin cancers, breast cancer is the most common form of this disease in women. In addition, approximately 39,510 of them will die from it (according to the American Cancer Society).
But catching this disease in its stages increases the survival rate for its victims.
That’s why having a breast cancer screening is so important. And it’s easy, too. All it takes is a little time and a little knowledge.
Breast Cancer Screening Methods
There are three main methods of breast cancer screening that you need to use in combination with each other.
• Mammogram, which takes X-rays of the breast, is the most common mechanical breast cancer screening method. This machine is able to catch a cancerous lump from its very earliest stages. Doctors recommend that women aged 50 to 74 years have a mammogram every two years. Women aged 40-49, however, should speak to their doctor about the frequency in which they should have this test. There are many factors, such as genetics, that may require you to have yearly mammograms.
• Clinical breast exams are administered by your doctor who will manually feel for lumps in your breast tissue. Your physician will likely perform a clinical breast exam during your annual gynecological appointment.
• Self-exams of the breast can be done as often as you’d like. Don’t wait for your yearly appointment. In fact, doctors recommend that you frequently check your own breasts, using your hands, for any lumps or irregularities in the breast.
If you have a family doctor or gynecologist, you can easily schedule your screening through them. If not, many clinics offer breast cancer screenings.
Breast cancer screening is an easy process that can have far-reaching effects. The most important effect is, of course, that it can save your life. By regularly testing for this disease, you can catch it early and join the more than 2.6 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S.
So schedule your breast cancer screening today.