By Dr. Traci Thompson Ferguson
Due to the hectic schedules most women over 40 years of age live with every day, it’s easy for them to find themselves at the end of December realizing they haven’t accomplished one of their most important responsibilities for the year…scheduling their mammogram.
It’s not too late though. 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.
As 2018 draws to a close, take time to schedule your mammogram. If you aren’t able to do it in December, there are few healthier ways to kick of your New Year.
Click to view our video highlighting breast cancer awareness – it could truly be a lifesaver!
Dr. Traci Thompson Ferguson is the chief medical director of medical management for WellCare Health Plans.