October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month, making it a great time to visit your OB-GYN for a mammogram. If you do not need a screening, your provider can teach you how to perform self-exams or discuss risk factors. Medex Diagnostic and Treatment Center in Forest Hills, NY, offers these education and prevention services in an effort to protect as many women as possible. In the guide below, they explain more about the disease and why screening is so important.
NY OB-GYN’s Breast Cancer Awareness Guide
Facts & Statistics
According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women and accounts for the second largest amount of female cancer deaths. In 2017, over 250,000 new and invasive cases will be diagnosed, while over 40,000 women are expected to die from the illness. In addition, 63,000 cases of non-invasive carcinoma in situ (CIS) breast cancer are expected.
Since CIS is the earliest and most easily treatable form of the disease, quick detection is important. Mammograms and self-examination are critical tools for finding and treating breast cancer as soon as possible. Many women who develop breast cancer have no family history. It important for every patient to take screening seriously, especially over the age of 40.
Screening & Prevention
Screening tools available at your OB-GYN office can help diagnose breast cancer early. From state-of-the-art mammograms to comprehensive risk evaluations, visiting your gynecologist annually allows you take control of your breast health and alleviate anxiety. If you do have a family history, your physician can determine if you should have genetic testing or mammograms before the age of 40. In addition, your participation in at-home self-exams allows you to monitor your breast health while you are not at the doctor.
Home Breast Exams
To complete your breast exam at home, lie flat on your back and place a pillow under your right shoulder. Next, move your right arm above your head. Use your left hand’s fingers to evaluate your right breast and armpit. Complete small, gentle circular motions as you cover your whole breast, checking for pain or lumps.
Finally, squeeze your nipple to make sure there are no lumps or discharge. Repeat the process on the left side and complete the full exam monthly. If you have questions about home evaluations, talk to your gynecologist.
This October, more than three million breast cancer survivors are making the most of National Breast Cancer Awareness month in the United States. Do your part by completing your self-exam or making an appointment for a mammogram. To receive preventative care for breast cancer from a compassionate and experienced OB-GYN, call Medex Diagnostics and Treatment Center in Forest Hills, NY, at (718) 275-8900. To learn more about their dermatology, immunology, or pain management services, visit their website.