TRI-CITIES, Tenn. (WJHL) Breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death among women.
The National Breast Cancer Foundation estimates one in eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.
This year alone an estimated 268,600 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in the U.S., as well as 62,930 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer. An estimated 41,760 will die from the disease.
Johnston Memorial Hospital oncologist Dr. Mark Davis says he sees many women wait too long to start their health screenings and mammograms.
“Detecting breast cancer early gives us many more options to treat in ways that are more effective and less invasive,” says Davis.
He adds that overall prognosis is much better when the cancer is diagnosed and treated early on.
Davis says for many women, apprehension about the process of mammograms and health screenings holds them back from starting early.
“It’s a very common misconception that in every patient you have to have chemotherapy which is certainly not the case, so I think efforts to increase and approve knowledge about breast cancer treatment methods are certainly helpful in that regard,” says Davis.
Davis agrees with many in the medical field that women should start mammograms by age 40.
He tells his patients with family history of breast cancer to start yearly mammograms at 10 years before the youngest family member was diagnosed. For example, if your mother was diagnosed at 45, start your annual screenings at 35.
Davis recommends actively conducting breast self exams, maintaining regular exercise and a lower fat diet in helping reduce the chances of developing breast cancer.
More information about mammograms and other available cancer screenings can be found at www.balladhealth.org/cancer.