It’s October, which means it is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. There is much we can do to help spread breast cancer awareness, but since we specialize in women’s health, we’ve decided to focus specifically on the importance of regular breast cancer screenings.
Regular annual cancer screenings and examinations are hugely beneficial in the fight against breast cancer. This is especially true for women who have a family history of breast cancer and may be at a greater risk. Following the American Cancer Society’s guidelines for the early detection of breast cancer greatly improves the chances of finding breast cancer early and successfully treating it. Many experts in the field state that early detection tests for breast cancer help save thousands of lives each year and that many more lives could be saved if more women and their health care providers took advantage of these tests and got screened regularly.
The American College of Obstetricians/Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends yearly screening mammograms for women starting at age 40 and yearly clinical breast exams starting at age 19. They also recommend regular self-breast exams to become familiar with how your breast normally look and feel. You should report and changes you notice to your doctor immediately.
As part of an annual Well Woman Exam at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett, we will discuss your family history of breast cancer. A clinical breast exam (CBE) is then performed to check for any lumps or other potential signs of breast cancer. A screening mammogram will be ordered if you are 40 or older. A diagnostic mammogram and/or breast ultrasound will be ordered if any abnormalities are found on CBE.
Spreading knowledge is what Breast Cancer Awareness Month is all about. Even if you are up-to-date on your screenings or exams, sharing this information with a friend or loved one can make all the difference in the world. When it comes to a woman’s health and wellness, knowledge is power. For more information on well woman exams, clinical breast exams or cancer screenings please contact Dr. Kristine Gould at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett today. Or for more information and helpful tips on women’s health, you can follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.