Breast Cancer Prevention: Importance of Screening and Mammography
Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers worldwide. Alarmingly, the incidence of breast cancer is rising rapidly in India, pushing cervical cancer to the second spot. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has reported that one in 22 women suffer from breast cancer. Dr Anil Heroor – Oncologist, Fortis Hospital, Mulund takes us through the importance of breast cancer screening and mammography.
Breast Cancer screening
Screening is done for early detection. Good screening techniques can lead to the diagnosis of more than 90 percent breast cancer.
Self-examination is important once a month, to check the presence of any lump formation and in case any lumps or abnormalities are found a doctor should be consulted immediately. Also a woman must undertake yearly mammogram X-rays after the age of 40. However, if there is a family history, then the mammogram is better done from the age of 35.
• Breast self-exam (BSE) is an option for women starting in their 20s.
• For younger women, it is an essential component for early detection techniques to be effective.
• Women should report any breast change promptly to their health care providers.
• Women should be doing BSE 7 to 10 days after the first day of their periods.
• If no longer menstruating, choose one day of the month and perform it on the same day each month.
• Nursing mothers should be performing BSE just after feeding the baby or expressing milk from the breast
• Clinical breast exams (CBE) should be part of a periodic health exam.
- Every three years for women in their 20s and 30s.
- Every year for women 40 and over.
A mammogram is usually performed with the patient standing.
The breast tissue is compressed and X-rays are taken from different angles.
Mammography can detect 80-90 percent of tumours up to two years before they can be felt.
Effective way to detect breast cancer in early stages.
It is recommended by American Cancer Society that all women over 50 get a yearly mammogram
Women with family history should get it earlier.
It is estimated that mammography saves upto 25 percent more people because of early detection.
Thus breast cancer can be easily conquered if awareness spreads in the society and it gets detected early.
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