As you know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. So far, we’ve looked at various myths and misconceptions about breast cancer, and we’ve done an article on breast self exams. But did you know that the most effective method of early detection for breast cancer is a mammogram? Many women don’t realize that, and rely on breast self exams or put off scheduling a mammogram because many women simply don’t take the risks seriously. But with 1 in 8 women developing breast cancer during her life, screening mammograms are absolutely vital for early detection.
Screening Mammograms Catch Breast Cancer Early
Mammograms may not be particularly enjoyable, but they’re the best way to catch breast cancer early. It’s absolutely worth going through a little discomfort to spot a life-threatening cancer early enough to get treatment. If you need more convincing, here are a few statistics that show how truly valuable annual screening mammograms are:
- Mammograms detect about 75% of cancers at least a year – or more – before they could be found through breast self-exams or manual examination
- More than 90% of breast cancers can be cured if they’re detected early and treated promptly
- Mammography has contributed to a reduction in the United States breast cancer mortality rate by nearly 1/3 since 1990
- 75% of the women who are diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history for the disease, and aren’t considered to be “high risk”
- The most significant take-away is that mammograms can catch breast cancer MUCH earlier than breast self-exams or other manual examinations, which can dramatically improve your prognosis for treatment and recovery.
Yes, we all know mammograms can be unpleasant. The machine is COLD and sometimes the techs are less than gentle. But really, many women don’t undergo annual mammogram screenings because they’re worried about what they’ll find, or because they simply don’t make the time to schedule it.
The first isn’t a good reason, because whatever a mammogram finds – it’s better to find it early through a mammogram and get a chance to treat it. The second isn’t a good reason because seriously? Your health and potentially your life are worth taking an hour or two out to go to the hospital and undergo a simple screening procedure.
October 19 is National Mammography Day
The National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, the American College of Radiology and the Society for Breast Cancer Imaging all say that women over 40 should undergo an annual screening mammogram. If you haven’t already had your screening mammogram for the year, take this opportunity to schedule it! Your health is worth it!
And don’t forget, Big Girls Bras is running a couple of great promotions this month to help some breast-cancer-related causes. First, BGB is donating $2 from the sale of all Anita, Aviana and Carnival bras to the Lisa Boccard Cancer Fund. One of their goals is to help women with screening mammograms, so this is a particularly timely promo! But one of our favorite sport bra designers, Enell, is also donating 10% of the purchase price of every Enell Sports Bra in Hope Pink to FOCUS, a national charity that supports women with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.
October is halfway over, so make sure you schedule your mammogram soon!