October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Here’s what to know.

Mammograms can help with early prevention of breast cancer

Breast Cancer Awareness Month Ribbon. (Pexels)

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and if you are due for a mammogram, now is the time to get one.

When caught early and in the localized stage, the 5-year survival rate for breast cancer is 99%, according to the American Cancer Society.

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Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the U.S., except for skin cancers, the American Cancer Society says. There is no way to completely prevent breast cancer, but early detection can be life-saving.

And mammograms are one of the ways to catch breast cancer early.

There are two types of mammograms: screening and diagnostic.

Screening mammograms are for asymptomatic women.

Diagnostic mammograms are for women with breast complaints or symptoms, such as nipple discharge or if they feel a lump.

For women without a family history, University Health recommends routine mammograms for those who are 40 years old. Then yearly mammograms after.

University Health recommends women with a family history of breast cancer receive a mammogram, even if they do not have symptoms or breast complaints. Women who have genetic mutations or are at higher risk may receive screening before the age of 40.

Symptoms of breast cancer can appear as some of the following:

  • Change in the skin texture or enlargement of pores on the breast
  • Tenderness or thickening near the breast or under the arm
  • Dimpling on the breast
  • The breast, areola, or nipple becomes scaly, red, or swollen
  • lump in the breast

You can register for a screening appointment by visiting universityhealthsystem.com/mammogram.

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