Five good reasons to get a mammogram
It is that time of year again when pink is everywhere, from illuminated buildings to NFL football teams to the countless walks and runs across America. And despite all the media attention surrounding Breast Cancer Awareness Month, women may be asking themselves, "Do I really need to have a mammogram?" Consider the following reasons why this could be the single most important test you get this year.
- Mammography saves lives. Women who get screened decrease their chance of dying from breast cancer by 30 percent. Despite all the controversy surrounding screening mammograms, there is universal agreement in the medical community that it saves lives. It is the single most important thing a woman can do to lessen her chances of dying from breast cancer.
- Early detection is the key to the cure. Mammography can detect cancer at early stages before women can feel a lump. When breast cancer is detected early, at a localized stage, the survival rate is 98 percent. Once breast cancer has metastasized and spread throughout the body, the five-year survival rate drops to 25 percent.
- Risk of breast cancer increases with age. The American Cancer Society advises all women beginning at age 40, to have a mammogram performed once a year as long as they do not have serious or chronic health problems. Age alone should not be the reason to stop having mammograms.
- It doesn't take much time. Mammograms are a quick procedure, only taking about 20 minutes.
- Be a role model. Encourage women in your life to get their annual mammogram by having yours. Do it for yourself and for those you love. Remember this test may save your life.
The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2017 nearly 255,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 41,000 women will die from the disease. Early detection is the key to the cure. No more excuses. Go get yours today!
If you live in the Hampton Roads area, please visit sentara.com/Mammogram to learn more about scheduling your mammogram at one of our comprehensive breast centers.
By: Sentara Cancer Network