Every year during the month of October, activists around the world raise ‘go pink’ slogans to encourage and engage more people in supporting the cause they are fighting for. Every October, various interest groups try to raise awareness about this illness that becomes worse with each day passing. As with any other disease, early breast cancer prevention is crucial. Success rate for complete breast cancer recovery is very high if the disease is diagnosed early, hence it is very important to go for regular check-ups.
As many as 20 percent of breast cancer deaths happen due to patients not undergoing this very medical test, named mammogram, after regular intervals.
When to Go for a Test?
Girls in their twenties should undergo essential medical tests and check-ups on a monthly basis (Read about how to “Self-check breast in 6 steps”), and should undergo mammogram after reaching 30 years of age. For women over 40 years, it is imperative to go for a mammogram test at least once in a year. Many may contradict this recommendation based on a common notion that mammogram causes harmful radiation. However, experts say that the radiation has insignificant health effects compared to the great benefit of undergoing such test regularly. During 1960s, mammography was recommended for young and middle-aged women for only once in a year. However, this notion has gradually become obsolete with advancements in the field of cancer research. Here is why.
Women, who experience abnormal changes in their breasts, can choose less invasive treatments and become successfully cured at an early stage of the disease. The idea here is to detect the disease (specifically the malignant tissues) well before the symptoms become obvious (it is possible to diagnose breast cancer as early as two years before the earliest signs appear. Regular examination reduces mortality rate in breast cancer patients by a staggering 30 percent.
When Should You See a Doctor?
If you notice unnatural changes in your breasts such as redness, swelling, lumps, changes in size and shape of the breast, itching, dimples, wrinkles, retractable nipple discharge or constant pain, contact your doctor who can perform the essential medical tests including mammogram to name the symptoms accurately.