Ask Mr. Pedometer and Friends…about Breast Cancer
Q: Mr. Pedometer, my dear friend refuses to get a mammogram because she is fearful of what she may find out. Any suggestions as to how I might persuade her to have this annual screening?
A: Your question is timely, as October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. You might remind your friend of the sad fact that 1 of every 8 women will develop breast cancer during her lifetime. (The rate is lower for men, but they also can develop the disease.) However, the good news is that the diagnosis no longer implies a death sentence, as it may have many years ago. Here’s what the American Cancer Society has to say:
“When breast cancer is detected early, and is in the localized stage, the 5-year relative survival rate is 100%. Early detection includes doing monthly breast self-exams, and scheduling regular clinical breast exams and mammograms.”
By now, nearly all of us know someone whose life has been affected by breast cancer. Happily, many of those are survivors. This is a good month to remind all the women who are dear to you to schedule a mammogram.
Fairly recently, medical experts revealed that as many as 40% of women have dense tissue breasts, which means that they may need to have an ultrasound examination in order to “pass” their annual check-up. After a mammogram determines that the person has dense breast tissue, the staff is required to notify the person how to obtain follow-up examinations.
Both detection and treatment of breast cancer have improved in our lifetime. Encourage your friend to take advantage of an annual breast examination for her own peace of mind…and continued good health.
EAT RIGHT, MOVE MORE, AND STAY WELL