Breast cancer is the second-leading type of cancer among women in the US, and the second-leading cause of cancer deaths.
According to the National Cancer Institute, there are over 200,000 new cases of breast cancer diagnosed each year across the country, and nearly 40,000 women die annually of this disease.
The chance of a woman developing breast cancer during her lifetime is one in eight.
The risk of getting breast cancer increases with age, and a history of smoking and a high-fat diet can also be contributing factors.
Although you can’t do anything about your age, you can keep a watchful eye on your fat intake, stick to a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and do your best to avoid dwelling on the many stresses of life.
Above all, you can greatly minimize your breast cancer risk by getting an annual mammogram – especially if you’re over 55.
Mammograms are not the most pleasurable experience, but the fact is survival rates are high among women whose breast cancer is detected early. The National Cancer Institute estimates that 2.6 million women in the US have a history of breast cancer. That is an alarming statistic, but the great news in all of this is that many of these women, thanks to screening and early detection, have gone on to live cancer-free lives.
Breast Cancer Screening
Women 40 and older are advised to get an annual breast screening mammogram. If you’re over 55, this is doubly important. If you are over 65 or on Medicare, your Medicare benefits include one mammogram every 12 months. Take full advantage of this Medicare benefit, ladies, because it could save your life.
Excuses, excuses …
There are a million excuses not to get an annual mammogram. Most of us are guilty of using them, but for our health’s sake we need to stop giving these excuses. Remember, if you’re a Medicare recipient, you have every right to Medicare preventive services, and your annual mammogram is definitely one you don’t want to ignore. Often times, it is more comforting to avoid breast exams simply because you would rather just not know. However, you need to be aware of any risk you’re facing, and there’s no better way to get an up-to-date snapshot of your risk for breast cancer than by going for your annual mammogram.