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Protect Yourself: The Importance of Breast Screenings BY TRACY WRIGHT

Breast cancer is the second most common cancer that affects women in the United States behind skin cancer. Beginning in the 1980s, breast screenings became a prevalent part of women’s health and a vital asset in their health care regime.

mostly because men are less aware of the condition which can cause a delay in seeking treatment, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Men who may feel a hard lump under the nipple and areola should visit their primary care provider to assess whether they need an appropriate screening.

While breast cancer is most commonly associated with women, it is worth noting that men can also be at risk for breast cancer. According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, 1 percent of breast cancer diagnosis are in men. Although the risk of men developing breast cancer is small, they carry a higher mortality rate than women

When mammograms were on the rise in the 1970s, the recommendation by many medical outlets was for women over the age of 40 to get an annual breast exam. However, according to the American Cancer Society, there are different stipulations depending on whether an individual is at an average risk for breast cancer or increased risk for

breast cancer. An individual with no known family history or personal history of breast cancer is considered to be at average risk. An individual with a close family history (grandmothers or mother) of breast cancer is considered to have an increased risk. Today, there are some variations in guidelines for when regular mammograms should begin for women depending on their risk factors. A common misconception is that screenings for breast cancer should begin at age 40, but this is contingent on the risk factors for each person. Screenings for individuals with an increased risk should begin 10 years earlier than when their family member was first diagnosed if they were diagnosed at a WELLNESS360 | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018


Wellness360 September/October 2018  
Wellness360 September/October 2018