A Simple Screening that Could Save Your Life - PIH Health

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Published on October 09, 2014

A Simple Screening that Could Save Your Life


Preventative screenings are important to maintaining good health, especially when it comes to screening for cancer. Your physician can recommend screenings that you should have based on your age and risk factors.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month which serves as an important reminder that mammograms play a vital role in maintaining good breast health. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 230,000 cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed and about 40,000 women will die from the disease in the United States this year alone.

Why Are Mammograms Important?

The American College of Radiology reports that screening mammography has helped to reduce breast cancer deaths in the United States by 1/3 since 1990. The goal of screening mammography is to detect breast cancer at an early stage when it is most treatable. In fact, cancers that are confined to the breast have survival rates greater than 98 percent.

Who should be screened?

PIH Health radiologist, Kimberly Bickell MD, says that women who are in good health should have yearly mammograms beginning at age 40. Women who have a high risk of developing breast cancer— particularly those with a family history of the disease—should talk with their doctor about the best approach for preventative care. This might mean starting mammograms at a younger age or having extra tests done in addition to annual screenings. If a woman has any doubt of her risk factor for breast cancer, she should consult with a healthcare professional as soon as possible.

The information in Healthy Living Online is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

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