Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide. The American Cancer Society estimates that over 325,000 Americans will be diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2020 and over 42,000 will die from the disease. Breast Cancer Awareness Month was established in 1985 and is an annual campaign celebrated each October. The purpose is to increase awareness and focus on the importance of early detection through breast screening to help save lives.

Breast cancer screening can help to find cancer earlier when the disease is easier to treat, which leads to a better chance of survival. Breast cancer screening guidelines have changed over recent years. It’s very important to know your risk of developing breast cancer. Start by having a conversation with your provider. Ask when you should start breast screening, what screening tools are best based on your risk and how often you should be screened.

• For a women of average risk, most leading medical organizations agree that starting at age 40, women should talk to their provider about when to start getting a mammogram.
• Beginning at age 50, women should get a mammogram every 2 years.
• For women with higher than average risk, screening guidelines are different and start earlier than age 40. Talk to your doctor about your history and risk factors so you can make an informed decision on when to start breast cancer screening.

Island Hospital offers breast cancer screening including 3D Mammograms, Breast MRI and Ultrasound Guided Biopsies. For screening mammogram appointments call 360-299-4288. If you have a concern and would like to get screened, please talk to your doctor about what’s best for you.

If you need help finding a provider, please call 360-293-3101.

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Published on October 7, 2020