It’s too easy to put off your health screenings when you’re busy. But regular breast exams should be a part of every woman’s wellness plan — even if you don’t have a family history of breast cancer. Regular checks can help find breast cancer early, when it is easier to treat — and beat!
Screenings can help you protect yourself
1. Be aware of the signs and symptoms. A lump, swelling, pain, discharge, or skin changes are signs that should be checked by a doctor.3
2. Know how to do a breast self-exam. This is a check-up a woman can do at home to look for changes or problems in the breast tissue.
3. Have regular checkups. A yearly clinical breast exam by a doctor or other health professional is an important screening tool.
4. Get a yearly mammogram, and remind the women around you to do so as well. A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast tissue, using very low levels of radiation. Your age, family history, and other risk factors determine when you should start. Talk with your doctor to find out what is right for you.
Have you had any of these three tests recently?
What happens during a mammogram?
Who should get one?
All women who are age 40 and up. Please talk to your doctors about how often you should get a mammogram. You should know that 70% – 80% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer. And the chance of getting breast cancer is greater as women age. So it’s important for each woman to discuss her family history with her doctor.
You might need to get a mammogram before age 40 if any of the following apply to you:
Regular screenings are important. Survival rates for breast cancer are very high — especially when it’s caught early. The five year survival rate for breast cancer in stages 0, 1 or 2 is between 93% and 100%.
Go to bcbsga.com for more ways to get healthy and stay healthy.