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04.10.2019

Routing Breast Cancer Screening and Early Detection: The Keys to Beating the Disease

Routing Breast Cancer Screening and Early Detection: The Keys to Beating the Disease

Breast cancer accounts for almost 1 in 4 new cancer cases among women, making it the most common form of cancer affecting women worldwide and the leading cause of female cancer death in most countries. An estimated 2.1 Million (11.6%) new incidences were diagnosed in 2018 worldwide according to GLOBOCAN, with an estimated 625,000 deaths (6.6% of all cancer related deaths).

 

Looking beyond the Statistics


Though these figures are high, they only tell part of the story. Countless other cases of breast cancer will go undiagnosed. Some women experience no noticeable symptoms whatsoever. Many fall outside the standard at-risk age category, so regular screenings never cross their minds.

 

Self-exams


Self-exams can help detect some breast cancer warning signs, but these measures aren’t foolproof. Changes in breast size or skin texture or color, skin irritation, and other indications may not be obvious enough to detect. It could be that a woman has grainy breast tissue, which makes finding small lumps even more difficult.

Understanding the Importance of Routine Screenings


Professional screenings can pinpoint potential problems early on in their development even if they aren’t evident on the surface. When found in the earliest stages, far more breast cancer treatment options are available, and chances of beating this disease increase by more than 90 percent.

 

Exploring Breast Cancer Detection and Screening Methods


Basic physical exams are often doctors’ first measures in detecting breast cancer. These exams are performed in much the same way as self-exams, but an OB/GYN may find lumps, swollen lymph nodes in the armpits and changes in temperature a woman wouldn’t notice on her own.

From there, several other screening methods are also available.

  • Mammograms: During a mammogram, an x-ray will be taken of each breast to find abnormalities under the skin.
  • Ultrasound: Ultrasounds essentially bounce sound waves off objects under the skin to find hidden growths.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging: MRI screening includes a dye injection through an IV followed by lying on a table and being sent through a circular, magnetic machine that sends radio waves through the body to look beneath the skin of the breasts.

These are among the most common types of screening currently being used. If any potentially problematic growths are found, the doctor will proceed to a biopsy, a procedure for removing samples of abnormal tissue for further analysis. Biopsies can be performed using needles or probes inserted into small incisions.

 

All Things Considered


Regular screenings are the key to detecting breast cancer in its earliest stages when survival rates are highest. Annual screenings, regardless of whether signs are found during self or doctor’s exams, are recommended for women aged 40 to 54 and at least once every two years for those over 55. Of course, if you’re younger than 40, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be tested. Don’t hesitate to schedule an exam for the sake of your own health and peace of mind.

 

Disclaimer: The content of this article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be used as a basis for any treatment, diagnosis, decision or any other similar action. It is neither a medical advice nor a substitute for one. For any health-related issue, always consult with a professional.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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