Early education on self-breast exam and early screening is extremely important in achieving good outcomes. Self-exam and physician examination will detect cancer at a rate between 70 â€“ 80%. Adding screening mammography (mammograms) will increase detection to 96 â€“ 98%. It has been shown that early detection through clinical exam and mammography can reduce breast carcinoma mortality by 20 to 30%. Today’s gold standard for screening (mammograms) will still miss between 10 and 15% of neoplasm.
There are now very strict protocols both for testing and interpreting. Perhaps due to these guidelines, thermography (as with all digital technology) has exploded in its technique and capabilities. Thermal cameras detect heat emitted from the body and display it as a picture on a computer monitor. These images are unique to the person and remain stable over time. It is because of these characteristics that thermal imaging is a valuable and effective screening tool.
A diagnostic mammogram is performed to evaluate any abnormality found during a breast exam. Mammograms may sometimes cause discomfort because the breasts must be compressed until the skin is taut. Mammograms can detect breast calcifications made of minute amounts of calcium that cannot be detected by self or clinical exams. Generally, a radiologist can make a prediction on the likelihood of a lesion is malignant based on a screening mammograms.
Diet is an import factor in reducing a person’s risk of breast cancer. We should be choosy about the food we eat especially fats. Studies show that there are certain types of fats that seem to raise the level of estrogen thus increasing the risk of breast cancer. Monounsaturated fats may seem to reduce the risk while polyunsaturated fats may increase the risk according to a Swedish study. Olive oil, canola oil and omega 3 fatty acids that are mostly found in sardines, salmon and herring are rich in monounsaturated fats.
Even with all the information about breast cancer awareness, self-exams and breast cancer statistics available, many women still choose to put off having a mammography and even doing self-exams. They give a variety of excuses including, “no time”, “no family history” or “lack of convenience” with having to travel to a hospital for a mammography. Fortunately hospitals are beginning to combat these excuses by incorporating a mobile mammography unit into the services that they offer to the community.
Self-breast exam is the easiest test and everyone can do it regularly in the privacy of her own room. However, no matter how easy and manageable this test is for everyone, many women do not prefer to perform the test. The fear of finding out the presence of a lump is the most glaring reason for not practicing this essential breast cancer test. Women should understand that not all lumps are cancerous. Finding a lump in your breast doesn’t necessarily mean that you have breast cancer.
It is recommended that a breast self-exam, or BSE, be routinely done every month. This will greatly increase the likelihood of detecting breast cancer in its early stages. A monthly breast self-exam is even recommended by the American Cancer Society for all women ages 19 and above. This procedure is fairly easy to do and most women without any disability can perform the test in the privacy of their own room or in the bathroom.