Breast health ideas to keep in mind
Article by: MaryAnn Scoglio, Certified Adult Nurse Practitioner, Oncology (pictured right)
Ever since I was a nurses aide I wanted to work with cancer patients. At that time, patients often did not know their diagnosis. They felt all alone and had many questions. I wanted to help. This inspired me to become an adult nurse practitioner specializing in oncology. Helping cancer patients through their journey – giving them hope, encouragement and comfort – is what continues to motivate me.
Technology, medicine and treatment are far more advanced today than when I was a nurses aide, but one thing that hasn’t changed is the importance of preventive care. Routine check-ups and screenings saves lives.
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women, and the second leading cause of cancer related death among women in the United States. In fact, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, including 220,000 this year alone.
Regular screening is the best way to detect breast cancer in its early stages, when it’s the most treatable. The five-year survival rate for breast cancer found at Stage 0 or Stage I is 100 percent, and 93 percent if discovered at Stage II.
With Breast Cancer Awareness Month now underway, here are some key things for women to keep in mind when it comes to breast health:
Know your risk
- Talk to your family members to learn about family history
- Talk to your doctor about your risk for breast cancer
Know what’s normal for you
- Have breast self-awareness and complete a self-exam every 1-2 months.
- Talk about any changes or abnormalities – like lumps, swelling, change in size, rash or new pain in one spot that doesn’t go away – with your doctor.
- Have a mammogram screening as advised by your doctor.
- Talk with your doctor about frequency and which screening is best.
- Make healthy lifestyle choices.
- Healthy lifestyle habits can reduce your risk factors for breast cancer and other illnesses.
If you have questions or concerns, talk with your doctor or provider. If you don’t have a doctor or provider, make an appointment with one of Amery Hospital & Clinic’s providers on our care team by calling 715-268-8000