By Dr. Traci Ferguson
Every May, we celebrate Mother’s Day – a time to honor you for your tireless commitment to giving us the love, care and guidance we need to be healthy and happy.
With your hectic schedule that includes everything from work, carpooling, making meals, helping with homework, and weekend and after-school activities, you always find time for others, which rarely leaves time for yourself. Yet, for long-term health, there is one thing all women over 40 years of age should make time for…a mammogram.
Here are five facts to consider when you think you have no time for a mammogram:
- On average, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every two minutes. Sadly, one woman will die from breast cancer every 13 minutes.
- About 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12.4 percent) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. For women in the U.S., breast cancer death rates are higher than those for any other cancer except lung cancer.
- Scheduling regular mammograms can help find breast cancer at an early stage, when treatment is most successful. A mammogram can find breast changes that could be cancer years before physical symptoms develop.
- While 1 in 4 women detect breast cancer themselves through self-examination, regular mammograms would increase their survival rate. This is because by the time breast cancer is big enough to be felt as a lump, it is often at a more advanced stage.
- Results from decades of research show that women who have regular mammograms are more likely to have breast cancer detected early. They are less likely to need chemotherapy and aggressive treatment like surgery to remove the breast, and are more likely to be cured.
If it’s time for you to get a mammogram, your family and friends at WellCare ask you to schedule it today and to encourage the women in your life to do the same.
Click to view our video highlighting breast cancer awareness – it could truly be a lifesaver!
Dr. Traci Thompson Ferguson is WellCare’s chief medical director of medical management