With the increased cases of cancer throughout the world, screening for cancer is essential. Screening for breast cancer saves lives! So we all need to work together to normalise boob checking on a regular basis – it’s essential now that the number of people affected by cancer keeps rising each year. In fact, breast cancer is the second most common cancer in the world and the most occurring one in women. These statistics are frightening, making breast cancer screening a vital step in the battle against cancer. The aim of having frequent breast cancer screening is to catch the disease early and thus increase the survival rate.
Here are some benefits of frequent breast cancer screening.
1. Reduces the chances of death for breast cancer patients
Studies show that routine mammograms reduce the risk of women dying from breast cancer by 15% to 25%. Cancer screening allows for early detection, which helps the doctors to start with the treatments right away and thus reduce any risk of dying. During a breast cancer screening at a well woman clinic, they consider particular factors such as your personal medical history, lifestyle, family history, and any other relevant health concerns.
There are no fast rules when it comes to checking your breasts for signs of cancer – the most important thing is learning what’s normal for you, so you can identify any changes quickly and seek support. Symptoms can include a lump, a change in shape or feel of a breast, skin changes like puckering or redness, nipple discharge, changes to the position of the nipple, or pain in a breast.
2. Reduces the risk of having a mastectomy
Many breast cancer patients are concerned with losing their breasts, which is a possibility, especially if the cancer is not caught early. During treatment, cancer patients have reported undergoing various losses. First comes the loss of hair due to chemotherapy, loss of appetite, loss of strength to engage in activities they previously enjoyed. All these losses, coupled with the loss of their breasts, can be disheartening. However, when the cancer is caught early, there is a chance that the patient could survive the disease without losing their breasts.
3. Offers the chance for different treatment options
Usually, when breast cancer is detected during its later stages, the only treatment options that a patient has are mastectomy and chemotherapy. However, because breast cancer screening allows for the early detection of cancerous cells, patients have the opportunity of different treatment options. Besides giving them a better chance to live, these treatment options pose less risk as compared to chemotherapy.
4. Helps to clear doubts
There is proof that breast cancer could be hereditary. As such, women who come from families where some of their relatives have battled breast cancer may always be worried. They may feel like something is hanging over their heads and just waiting to drop, leading them to stress. Having frequent mammograms is a sure way of making sure that you are on the clear and allow you to rest easy.
There have been discussions in the past showing the risks involved in frequent breast cancer screening. These risks include having a false positive or false negative, unwarranted pain during the procedure, over-treatment, and having exposure to radiation. Although these are possibilities, they do not outweigh the fact that having the diagnosis made early may mean survival for the breast cancer patient. Breast cancer screening is highly encouraged for women aged 50 years and over. If your family has a history of breast cancer, especially, it is appropriate that you start screening earlier.
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