‘Pink’ seves a purpose
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. It is the time to remind us that mammography and breast examinations are important in the fight against breast cancer.
In the last few years there has been a lot of controversy over revised guidelines and recommendations for screening mammography. This has lead to a great deal of confusion for many women knowing when to schedule breast examinations and screening mammograms. The American Cancer Society, the American College of Radiology and the Society of Breast Imaging recommend the following: A woman over the age of 40 should have a screening mammogram as well as a clinical breast exam with her doctor annually.
If a woman of any age notices any changes in her breasts, she should contact her doctor or health care provider as soon as possible for consultation. Additionally, if there is an increased risk for breast cancer, such as a family history, consult your physician about when to begin mammography or other testing.
One in eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. Early diagnosis is the key to surviving breast cancer and mammography is considered the gold standard for detecting early breast cancer disease. In many cases, a mammogram can identify and abnormal breast mass as much as two years before a physical change would be noticed.
As we move through the month of October and see all of the pink colors that are displayed and worn, we need to remember that “Pink” serves a purpose. It reminds us to take care of ourselves and our loved ones. Who do you wear your pink ribbon for?
Linda Marlay is an X-ray manager at Jefferson County Health Center.
The To Your Health column is provided by Jefferson County Health Center staff and published monthly in The Fairfield Ledger. For information about the columns, call the health center at 472-4111.