Prioritize Your Breast Health
In Arkansas, we will see an estimated 2,430 new breast cancer diagnoses in 2020. Additionally, our state is ranked 35th for participation in mammography screening, with only 65 percent of women ages 45 and over having had a mammogram in the last year.
So not only do we have a significant number of diagnoses, but we also have a portion of our population who are simply choosing not to get mammograms. This leads to diagnoses that are often later stage, which can make treatment more difficult.
With modern advancements like the SmartCurve Paddle and MammoPads, both available at The Breast Center at CARTI, mammograms are more comfortable than ever before. In addition, 3D imaging technology allows us to identify changes in breast tissue up to two years before it can be felt on a clinical breast exam.
And if you think you are not at risk, think again. The number one risk factor for developing breast cancer is being a woman. Many women feel that they do not have to worry about breast cancer because they have no family history. But the truth is that 75 percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history and are the first person in their family diagnosed with breast cancer.
In honor of National Women’s Health Week, I charge every woman to embark in a collective renewal to prioritize our own breast health. Whether that is committing to doing monthly self breast exams – even for those under 40 – or making an appointment for a preventive screening, now is the time to take your breast health into your own hands.