October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a great time to refresh your knowledge on breast cancer and screenings.
What is an average risk for breast cancer? The American Cancer Society (ACS) says a woman is considered to be at average risk if they:
- Have not had a personal history of breast cancer
- Do not have a strong family history of breast cancer with multiple people who have been diagnosed
- Do not have a genetic mutation that increases the risk of breast cancer, like the BRCA gene
- Have not had any chest radiation therapy before the age of 30
The ACS provides the following guidelines for women at high risk for breast cancer:
- Women between 40 and 44 years old can get a yearly mammogram.
- Women between 45 and 54 years of age should get yearly mammograms.
- Women 55 years of age and older can switch to getting a mammogram every other year. Screenings should continue as long as they are in good health and are expected to live at least 10 more years.
- All women should know what a mammogram is. They should know what to expect during the test. They should also know what the test can and cannot do. Talk to your doctor or give us a call if you have questions about a mammogram test.
Learn more about the ACS guidelines online at www.cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer.html.