In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital helps you stay informed about the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, its risk factors and preventative measures.
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women beside skin cancer, and the death rate is higher than any other cancer except lung. According to the American Cancer Society about one in eight women in the United States will develop invasive breast cancer.
Risk factors include:
- A personal history of breast cancer
- A family history of breast cancer
- Never having children, or having a first child after the age of 35
Having one or more risk factors, however, does not mean a woman will develop breast cancer – many who are diagnosed have no known risk factors. Some symptoms of breast cancer to watch out for include:
- A new lump or mass
- Swelling of all or part of the breast
- Skin irritation or dimpling
- Pain or redness
- Thickening of the breast skin
- Any other unusual changes
HGB's Breast Care Center recommends a clinical breast exam every three years for women in their 20s and 30s, and every year for women 40 and older, as well as an annual screening mammogram every year starting at age 40. Women should also do a breast self-examination monthly and report any unusual changes right away to a health care provider.
The best defense against breast cancer is to find it early when it’s easiest to treat. More women are surviving breast cancer than ever before due to improved diagnostic measures and treatments.
A mammogram is a low dose x-ray examination of the breasts. It is quick, easy and safe, and it can show early breast cancer before it’s large enough to be noticeable by touch. Early detection by screening mammography greatly improves a woman's chance of successful treatment. HGB was the first hospital in mid-Michigan to offer 3-D mammography. The 3-D technology is the best available and is 41% more effective at finding invasive cancer, and reduces false positives by 40%.
In addition to mammograms, HGB’s Breast Care Center also offers:
- Breast ultrasound and MRI
- Risk assessments
- Stereotactic, MRI and ultrasound-guided biopsies
- Breast conserving surgery and breast reconstruction surgery
- Bone density screenings and more
HGB is proud to offer comprehensive breast health services to meet patient needs, including a Nurse Navigator program that provides one-on-one personalized care in a private, comfortable environment.
HGB encourages every woman to celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month by scheduling an annual mammogram today at (517) 541-5805. Visit www.hgbhealth.com/BreastCareCenter for details.