Macomb Township Doc Recommends Mammograms from Age 40, Says Early Detection Key
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Did you schedule your mammogram?
It’s breast cancer awareness month and for the average woman, that means thinking about what it takes to prevent this disease.
“Early detection is key. The smaller that a breast cancer is detected, the less likely it is to metastasize or spread to other organs or the bones. The earlier a breast (cancer) is discovered, the more likely the chance for a cure,” said Dr. Jeff Falk, a physician on staff at St. John Medical Center in Macomb Township.
- Annual mammograms beginning at age 40 save lives. At that age, the incidence of breast cancer begins to climb. There have been studies showing a 30 percent decrease in mortality due to breast cancer with routine annual mammography, Falk said.
- Any woman with a new palpable lump in her breast should go for breast imaging mammograms or an ultrasound immediately, regardless of age.
- Young women get breast cancer, too. All women in their late teens and older should perform monthly self breast exams and have an annual exam by a physician.
According to the American Cancer Society, women may also be at higher risk if they:
- have a family history of the disease
- use birth control pills
- started menstruating early (before 12) and/or went through menopause later (after age 55)
- have 2 to 5 drinks daily
- are overweight or obese, and other factors.