ANNUAL PINK PAGES
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
closer to October, a wave of pink begins to wash over just about everything in sight. Pink ribbons on lapels, bracelets, and suit ties. Pink treats in bakery windows; pink dresses on storefront mannequins. Pink water even flows from fountains in the landscapes of local business parks. Breast Cancer Awareness Month brings visual reminders that one in eight women are fighting breast cancer. For one month of the year, breast health is top of mind. A priority, even. But shouldn’t it be a priority all the time? EACH YEAR, AS THE CALENDAR CREEPS
L K N e x p e rt
Deborah G. Agisim, MD, is Chief of Mammography at Charlotte Radiology and board-certified with the American Board of Radiology. She subspecializes in breast imaging/ mammography and diagnostic radiology. Learn more at CharlotteRadiology. com/our-physicians.
After all, breast cancer is the second most common form of cancer in women – and that’s true 365 days a year. But it’s also one of the most treatable cancers when it’s caught early. Mammography is the only screening method that has consistently proven to save lives— lives—with its ability to detect a lump up to two years before you or your physician can feel it! And early detection is the key to better outcomes. “The five-year survival rate of women with stage 0 breast cancer is 99 percent,” says Dr. Deborah Agisim, Chief of Mammography at Charlotte Radiology. “That’s huge. Finding breast cancer early puts us in a much better position to treat and cure the cancer while minimizing the surgery and sometimes eliminating any need for chemotherapy. Screening mammography is empowering women to be proactive about self-care.” So why aren’t more of us taking advantage of this technology? Studies show that half of women are scheduling annual screening mammograms – while the other half don’t. With busy families, demanding careers,
and To Do lists a mile long, it can be easy to let our own wellbeing slip down in the order of priorities. But if we compromise our health, nothing gets done. If we’re not here, none of our people are cared for. So we have to be our own greatest advocates. We have to create a shift in priorities, and it can start with a simple 20-minute screening mammogram. Breast health experts still agree that 40 is the age to start, and that we should schedule them every 12 months. So this October, as the support for the fight against breast cancer reaches its annual crescendo, make a point to bring the focus home – to your house. What changes can you make? What will motivate you to make that appointment year after year? We all have a reason to make breast health a priority. Early detection saves lives. My children need me. Mammograms are quick, easy, and covered by insurance. My peace of mind is worth it. Most women with breast cancer have no family history. My health is important. I am reason enough. Find your reason. Write it down and remember it. Then schedule your annual screening mammogram, and make a point to schedule during that same month every year. It’s a commitment you can make to yourself that far outlasts Breast Cancer Awareness Month. w WRITER BROOKE NEAL
Lake Norman Woman Magazine October 2019