As October and Breast Cancer Awareness month come to a close, we at Hudson Physicians remind all of our patients to consider this important health issue. Unfortunately, the women in our community are under screened and we encourage people to actively monitor their breast health.
“Breast cancer is the most common cancer, except for cancer of the skin, among American women,” Bobbie Ledbury, NP says, “approximately 246,660 cases will be reported each year among women. Another 2,400 or so cases will be reported among men.” Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women in the U.S. – only lung cancer claims more lives.
That said, breast cancer death rates have been decreasing since 1989, according to breastcancer.org. One of the contributing factors is that, with early detection, breast cancer can be treated very effectively. When detected in stage 0 or stage 1, the five-year relative survival rate is nearly 100%. Even stage II breast cancer has a relative five-year survival rate of about 93%.
Hudson Physicians has considered all of the different breast screening guidelines and recommend a mammogram every 1-2 years starting at 40 and continuing to 74, which is best for our patients. However, your provider may suggest to alter the schedule based on patient history and/or risk factors.
What determines your risk? It’s important to note that most women (about 8 out of 10) who get breast cancer do not have a family history of the disease, but:
- Overall, less than 15% of women with breast cancer have a family member with this disease.
- Women who have close blood relatives with breast cancer have a higher risk of the disease.
- Having a first-degree relative (mother, sister, or daughter) with breast cancer almost doubles a woman’s risk.
- Having 2 first-degree relatives increases her risk about 3-fold.
- Women with a father or brother who have had breast cancer also have a higher risk of breast cancer.
“I recommend an annual screening for my patients who are 40 and older,” says Bobbie Ledbury. “It is an important and proven way to minimize their risk and to catch the cancer before it’s too late.”
Another way to prevent the threat of cancer is to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Specifically, the American Cancer Society offers practical tips called the Guidelines for Nutrition and Physical Activity, available here.
But, above all, according to Bobbie Ledbury, schedule your breast cancer screening. “We now have same day scheduling available in cooperation with Hudson Hospital, and the process is faster than ever,” she says. Same day mammography hours are from 9am to 3pm Mon. – Thurs. and 9 am to 10 am Fri.
Hudson Hospital offers both two dimensional (2D) and three dimensional (3D) mammograms. The current standard of care is 2D mammography. Enhanced diagnostic capabilities are available with 3D mammography. Please check your insurance plan for your coverage options.
To schedule your mammogram, visit the hospital scheduling desk or call 715-531-6437.