Why Regular Breast Cancer Screening Is So Important For Women? Mammogram snapshot of a breast. – Breast cancer kills thousands of women every year. Regular screening can help detect the cancer at an early stage, when it is easier to treat.
Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers seen in women of any age group. So, it is important to take utmost care of your breast health. Going for regular breast cancer screening is imperative to identify if you’re at risk or identify the cancer in its initial stage and start treatment early. So, do your breast self-examination and go for regular mammograms as suggested by your doctor.
In the below article, Dr Veena Aurangabadwala, Gynecologist, Zen Multispeciality Hospital, Chembur, explains why breast cancer screening is so important for women.
Breast cancer originates in the breast. It affects women of all ages, although most common among older women. Certain factors such as having a family history of breast cancer, a family history of BRCA1 and BRCA2gene variants, late pregnancy, late menopause, and undergoing hormonal replacement therapy can be some of the factors behind the occurrence of breast cancer.
Breast cancer screening is the need of the hour to promptly deal with this cancer. Breast cancer screening is checking a woman’s breasts to spot cancer even before the signs or symptoms of the disease tend to appear. Thus, it will be essential for women to speak to their healthcare provider regarding the best screening options available for them. Even though breast cancer screening cannot prevent breast cancer, it can help detect it at an early stage, when it is easier to treat.
Breast cancer screening tests you should know
Dr Aurangabadwala has described three breast cancer screening options and how often you should go for it:
Mammogram: It is an X-ray of the breast to find breast cancer early when it is easier to treat, and before it is big enough to feel or cause symptoms. Regular mammograms can cut down the risk of mortality and morbidity due to breast cancer. Hence, a mammogram is the best way to detect breast cancer for most women of screening age. Go for it after 40 on a yearly basis. Women under 40 years of age who are at high risk such as strong family history or notice any breast changes are also recommended to undergo mammography.
Breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): Here, magnets and radio waves are used to take pictures of the breast. Breast MRI is carried out along with mammograms to screen women who are at high risk for getting breast cancer.
Breast self-exam: Your doctor will suggest you do it by standing in front of the mirror and spot some changes in the shape of the breast. You will have to check any red flags such as lumps, pain, or changes in size that may be of concern. Report any changes that you notice to your doctor. If you notice any changes then don’t panic and seek timely intervention.
As many as 2.3 million women were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020 and it caused 685,000 deaths worldwide the same year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).