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The Importance of Breast Cancer Screenings

Everywhere you look during the month of October, one color stands out from the crowd: pink! This month in particular, there are constant reminders, from ribbons to QR codes, to schedule your mammogram. As a result of the many pandemic-mediated shutdowns, both in our community and nationwide, a significant number of patients have delayed their routine screening exams across the last two years. As a result, a vast number of diagnoses were made at more advanced stages.

Now that things are slowly returning normal, we are here to remind you how critically important it is for all women over the age of 40 to have yearly mammographic screening. For some women with a significant family history for breast cancer, evaluations may need to begin even younger. A good rule of thumb for screening is to start either at age 40, or 10 years younger than your first-degree relative with breast cancer, like a mom or a sister. In other words, if your mom was diagnosed at 43, you should start your screening at 33. If your sister was diagnosed at 43, and you’re 37, you should be starting right now! 

For those who have genetic mutations putting them at higher risk of breast cancer, we recommend screening to start at age 25. The screening will entail alternating mammograms and MRIs, so that you’ll receive a thorough evaluation every 6 months. If you have a concern regarding the hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndromes (or what genes may be involved), you can see your Metro Doc today, and go over your risks and what the management of each issue may entail. 

As October comes to a close, make sure you take these three important steps starting right now: schedule your mammogram today, discuss your cancer risks with your Metro doctor, and always reach out to us about questions or new breast findings. We are more than happy to see you and reassure you, or help you coordinate the next breast-care steps. 

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