In recognition of October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, Northeastern Health System is offering mammogram screenings for a flat fee of $75. The focus of this annual effort is to educate women, and those who love them, about the important benefits of early breast cancer detection.
“Unfortunately, too many women fail to receive their annual mammography screenings,” said Misty Brenan, NHS mammography technologist. “In some cases, this can be attributed to a lack of education. There are still some people who do not understand the importance of mammography in early breast cancer detection. Other women avoid the annual tests because they are afraid; scared that the test itself will hurt or afraid of receiving possible bad news.”
The messages for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month are important:
- Early detection saves lives.
- Mammography screening is the single most effective method of early detection.
- An annual mammogram is recommended for all women over 40 years of age.
- Women should know how their breasts normally feel and should report any changes to their health care provider.
- Breast self-examinations (monthly from age 20) and clinical examinations (at least every three years from age 20 to 35, and annually from age 40 and up) should be a part of regular breast health screenings.“Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women,” said Branan. “Finding a tumor at its earliest stages and getting appropriate treatment not only provides the best chance of surviving a breast cancer diagnosis, but also provides the broadest range of effective treatment options.”Estrogen-Related Risk Factors:
- In addition to the inherited higher risk from a “breast cancer” gene, a number of other risk factors have been identified. These risk factors may be a good point of discussion for a women to outline a breast cancer screening plan with her health provider, but a lack of risk factors does not mean that a woman will not develop breast cancer. Many women diagnosed with breast cancer have none of these risk factors, so it is still important to receive regular breast cancer screenings.
- Having an early first period (before the age of 12)
- Having a late first pregnancy (after age 25 or 35)
- Having no children
- Use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Use of oral contraceptives has not been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer later in life.
Risk Factors You Can Change:
- High fat intake – eat leaner meats and limit intake of saturated or hydrogenated fats.
- Low fiber intake – increase consumption of whole grains, vegetables and fruits.
- Low fruit and vegetable intake – eat a variety of fruits and vegetables daily.
- High alcohol intake – abstain from drinking or drink in moderation (less than two drinks per day).
- Sedentary lifestyle – stay active, aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity most, if not all, days; maintain a healthy weight.
- Smoking – enroll in a smoking cessation program or research over-the-counter aids to quit on your own.
The administration, providers and staff at Northeastern Health System strive to provide convenient and affordable access to a full range of services, including many primary and specialty care services, and consider it a privilege to serve the community. Women over 40 years of age wishing to make an appointment for a mammogram and take advantage of the $75 flat fee, should call (918) 772-4588.