Here’s why every woman should come in for annual breast cancer screenings.
If you are a woman in her forties who is at average risk for developing breast cancer, then you’ll want to start visiting our Berwyn, IL, surgeons every year for a mammogram. The annual screening age is now 45, according to the American Cancer Society and a mammogram is a simple screening tool that could detect breast cancer early and save lives.
Risk Factors for Breast Cancer
Not sure whether you are at an average or above-average risk for breast cancer? Factors that can increase your risk for breast cancer include,
- Older age
- Having fibrous, dense breast tissue
- A family history of breast cancer
- Early menstruation (before age 12)
- Late-onset menopause (after age 55)
- Undergoing chest radiation
Lifestyle factors that can also increase your risk for breast cancer include,
- Heavy alcohol consumption
- Being overweight or obese
- Living a sedentary, inactive lifestyle
- Taking birth control
- Not having children
Again, women at average risk for breast cancer may begin getting screened every year by age 45; however, some women may choose to start getting screened as early as age 40. This is something you should discuss with our La Grange, IL, surgical team before deciding when to start getting regular breast cancer screenings.
- Women between the ages of 45 to 54 should get screened annually
- Women over the age of 55 may choose to get screened every two years (while breast cancer risk increases with age, breast cancer also grows more slowly in older adults)
Can’t I just undergo physical breast examinations by a doctor?
While these physical breast exams and self-exams can be helpful, they should not take the place of a mammogram. A mammogram is the most effective and valuable test we have for detecting breast cancer early when it is highly treatable. This test can easily spot changes in breast tissue before physical manifestations appear that could be detected in a physical exam. Our surgical team can then perform a biopsy to analyze changes in breast tissue and to diagnose whether someone may have breast cancer.
If you just turned 45, or if you’re in your early forties and at an increased risk for breast cancer, it’s time to schedule your first mammogram. Suburban Surgical Associates/Suburban Metabolic Institute provides screenings and surgical care to patients living in Berwyn, La Grange, and Elmhurst, IL. Schedule your mammogram by calling (708) 484-0621.