I know you’re never supposed to ask a woman her age, but I’m going to today anyway. Are you over the age of 40? If so, have you had a mammogram? I know it’s a personal question, but since I want you to live the healthiest life possible I have to ask.
The American Cancer Society recommends women have an annual mammogram starting at the age of 40, along with a clinical breast exam ever 3 years. This helps create a baseline, so changes in breast tissue and developing cancer can be caught early. The earlier the detection, the easier the treatment, and the higher the chance of survival.
There is some controversy today about breast cancer and mammograms because of the potential of false positives. But today I’m going to give you the facts. According to the National Cancer Institute, there is a 15-20% reduction in mortality due to breast cancer in women aged 40-74 thanks to mammography. So, if I receive a false positive and go back for a 2nd screening to find out I don’t have cancer I’ve lost some of my time. But if I choose not to have a mammogram and I do have cancer I could lose my life. Hmm…I wonder what I’ll choose…
Both my grandmother and mother were diagnosed with breast cancer that was found by having yearly mammograms. That makes my family very thankful for this technology! We were so relieved the cancer was caught early and hadn’t spread through the lymph nodes yet, so chemo and/or radiation was not needed. Their cancer was treatable with a mastectomy and oral medications thanks to early detection.
So, have you had a mammogram yet? If not, please consider scheduling one today. Most insurance companies and Medicare cover the cost of an annual mammogram. If you are not insured, there may be programs in your area to cover the cost. You can call 1-877-GO-KOMEN, Susan G. Komen’s breast care helpline, and they can help you find low cost options in your area. Join the fight against breast cancer today!