By: Dr. Noa Ann Beck
Care Diagnostics for Women
“How is early breast cancer detected?”
The statistics are staggering. One in 8 women will get breast cancer. The diagnosis is daunting but early detection is key to beating the disease.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month is an opportunity to focus on a disease that is the second leading cause of cancer death among women, after lung cancer.
Many women are aware of the merits of a mammogram – mainly early detection and treatment – but plenty of women who believe in getting a mammogram are scared of the potential outcome, so they avoid making an appointment. That’s a mistake.
As the Medical Director of Care Diagnostics for Women, I understand that part of my job as a breast imaging radiologist is to help patients overcome their fear and anxiety about a mammogram or at the very least, put their mind at ease.
Since early detection is the best tool we have for fighting breast cancer, guidelines administered by the American Cancer Society recommend women get a mammogram every year from the age of 40 and beyond. Of course, this changes if there is a family history of breast cancer, but a family history is not a definitive indicator of the disease. Most women diagnosed with breast cancer today have no family history.
Care Diagnostics for Women has a boutique style environment where patients are received and treated with great care and understanding. We offer same day results to patients, and additional imaging can also be performed the same day, as needed. This allows our patients to leave the center knowing their results and minimizing the stress involved.
At Care Diagnostics, we have found cancers that are less than 5 mm. The decision to get a mammogram can lead to early detection and can save your life.
Understandably, there’s a lot of anxiety surrounding getting a mammogram and the potential results, but Breast Cancer Awareness Month puts this very important women’s issue at the fore front of everyone’s mind. It’s also a way to show support.
At Care Diagnostics we are sponsoring the “Wall of Hope” at the “Making Strides Walk,” in Boca Raton on Oct. 24th.
We want everyone to participate and write words of encouragement, whether it be in memory of someone, for others going through the treatment, or survivors who are a great inspiration to many on this unfortunate journey.
It’s important for women to know they do not have to go through their diagnosis alone. Support groups – family, friends, professionals – are paramount to success. It’s an emotional time and it can be very overwhelming.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month is an opportunity to raise awareness and shed light on questions many women have but may be afraid of asking.
Some of the concerns I hear about mammograms include women being worried about the radiation exposure or if the mammogram will be painful. Although the mammogram is uncomfortable, a moment of discomfort is worth the knowledge you gain.
Caregivers are a crucial aspect for those undergoing treatment. It is important that they have their own support system because what they are going through is so difficult, challenging and overwhelming, while they help a loved one with the disease. They need an outlet too, such as fun activities with groups of people.
My message to all women is to get a mammogram and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Knowledge is power and we can beat this disease.