October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Breast cancer screening should be a priority for all women. In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, RediClinic hopes to raise awareness of the importance of finding breast cancer early. Most healthcare providers agree that early detection of breast cancer through screenings and testing saves thousands of lives every year. By educating women about the importance of breast cancer screenings, many more lives will be saved.
Why Early Detection is Crucial
The best way to fight breast cancer is to have a plan that helps you detect the disease in its early stages. Early detection involves screening exams for people who do not have symptoms that allow breast cancer to be diagnosed sooner than otherwise might have occurred. The goal of a screening is to find cancer before it begins to cause symptoms, such as a lump. Breast cancers that are found due to the presence of symptoms tend to be larger and have a greater probability of having already spread beyond the breast. Breast cancers found due to a screening exam are more likely to be small and still confined to the breast.
Size and how far the cancer has spread are two of the most important factors in calculating the prognosis of a woman with breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society®, when breast cancer is detected early and remains localized, the five-year survival rate is 100%.
How to Detect Breast Cancer Early
The American Cancer Society recommends that every woman follow the following breast cancer screening guidelines.
- Breast self-exam. Monthly self-exams are recommended starting at age 20.
- Clinical breast exam. This exam should be performed by a healthcare professional to detect possible signs of breast cancer. Women ages 20-39 should have a clinical breast exam once every three years, and women over age 40 should be examined annually.
- Mammogram. This screening test can detect breast cancer up to two years before a lump can be felt. Mammograms are recommended annually for women age 40 and older, or annually for those age 30 and older who are at high risk.
The National Breast Cancer Foundation also offers the Early Detection Plan, an online tool that sends reminders to do monthly breast self-exams, and to schedule clinical breast exams and mammograms based on your age and health history.
Stay Healthy at RediClinic
Excess body weight has been clearly linked to an increased risk for developing many cancers, including breast cancer. RediClinic offers a wide range of health screenings to help you evaluate your health. These tests include Body Mass Index, Lipid Profile, Glucose, Blood Pressure, Complete Blood Count (CBC), Kidney and Liver Function, and more. For many patients, these screenings are the motivation they need to lose weight and stay fit – an important step in maintaining breast health.
To schedule a health screening, make an online appointment to be seen at your nearest RediClinic. Our medical clinics are located inside select Rite Aid pharmacies in Baltimore/Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New Jersey, Virginia, Delaware and Seattle, and H-E-B grocery stores throughout Texas.