COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – Breast Cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women. Research shows that genetics can play a major role in determining whether or not a woman will develop breast cancer.
“If you’ve had a family history of breast cancer, specifically if you had a sister or a daughter or a mother, 1st degree relative who’s been diagnosed with breast cancer, then your odds ratio or the likelihood that you’ll develop a breast cancer is higher,” says Dr. Vel Matthews-Smith of Baptist Memorial Hospital Golden Triangle.
The mammogram exam, a series of x-rays of the breast tissue, generally takes about 10 minutes. You feel slight pressure on your breast as the x-ray machine takes photos from different angles. Doctors recommend that women ages 40 and older get a mammogram each year. If you aren’t age 40, doctors recommend that women ages 25 and older, examine their breasts each month, feeling for unusual lumps.
“We still advocate self breast examinations largely because you become familiar with what’s normal for your body and what’s abnormal. So that if there was a new lesion, that you would know that that was abnormal,” says Dr. Matthews Smith.
There are a few simple steps women can take to help prevent breast cancer. A new study from the American Cancer Society shows that women who regularly exercise can reduce their chances of getting the disease by up to 25%.
Diet and exercise really are very important. Maintain a healthy weight, eating a low fat diet. These are things that every woman can do to prevent their risks for developing breast cancer.
Thousands of women die from breast cancer each year but the good news is, there are still three million breast cancer survivors in the US,” says Dr. Matthews-Smith.
For more information about breast cancer prevention, just go to ww5.komen.org.