1.7 million new cases of breast cancer are identified in worldwide each year. Statistically, 1 in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime and breast cancer is known to be the 2nd leading cause of death in women, exceeded only by lung cancer. Knowing how to properly detect breast cancer early is one of the most detrimental steps in identifying whether or not you may be at risk. Here are some steps to take when determining whether or not you may be a carrier:
Screening exams: Screenings such as mammograms can be an impactful way of detecting breast cancer in its early stages, when it is most easily cured. Women ages 40 and older should have yearly screenings and should continue to do so as long as they are in good health.
Breast Self Exam (BSE): Self-exams can also play a role in determining whether or not you may have breast cancer. This is typically recommended for women age 20-30. Women who choose to do BSE should have their BSE technique reviewed during their physical exam by a health professional.
MRI: In some cases, with women who have higher risks of breast cancer, an MRI in addition to a mammogram may be necessary to detect breast cancer. This includes women with a family history of breast cancer or who have had radiation therapy to the chest when they were between the ages of 10 and 30.
It is most important to consult your healthcare professional regarding what detection methods may be best for you. There is one thing that can be universally expressed among physicians everywhere: don’t wait. If you have not employed any of these methods in your past, see your doctor to plan a regimen that works for you!