In Honor of Our Heroes
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Breast Cancer Prevention
While there is no absolute way of preventing it, early detection is the key goal to surviving breast cancer. By detecting breast cancer early on, you have many more treatment options, and a greater prognosis, than someone who discovers it later on.
So, how do I detect breast cancer early?
Mammograms and Breast Self-Exams are the primary means of detecting breast cancer and other non-cancerous tumors.
Mammograms are a type of x-ray, in which images are taken of the breast to determine if any abnormalities exist inside the tissue of the breast. They are not 100% reliable and so, it is best to use a combination of yearly mammograms, clinical breast exams, and breast self-exams. Check out Radiologyinfo for more specifics on mammograms.
Clinical breast exams and breast self-exams are very similar, except that the former is done by your doctor, and the latter is done by you. These exams are used to detect lumps or other abnormalities that might be present in the breast. Check out the following links for useful information on both self and clinical breast exams.
How to Do a Breast Self-Exam - a thorough walk-through of a self-exam.
What's a Clinical Breast Exam? - a description of what you might experience at your doctor's office.
How to prepare for Your Mammogram - things you should do the day of your mammogram.
Why is Early Detection So Important?
Early detection is vitally important for one main reason: early detection means early treatment. This means that the sooner you are able to receive treatment for your breast cancer, the less likely it will have a chance to spread to other areas of your body, such as the lymph nodes. If cancer can be detected before it has a chance to spread, not only will treatment be simpler, your likelihood of survival is dramatically increased.
So, check out those links above and if you haven't, go ahead and do your monthly self-exam today. There is no time like the present.