October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign created to raise the awareness of breast cancer risks. Some of the women in medicine at Garrett Regional Medical Center joined forces in support of Breast Cancer Awareness and empowering women to be proactive about their health. Physicians Abigail Feathers, MD, Marjorie Fridkin, MD, Patricia Gotsch, MD and Rebecca Crowell, DO, are pictured at the 3D Mammography unit at the Oakland MRI Center.
These physicians all agreed on the importance of screenings and early detection. “This October, we are proud to participate in National Breast Cancer Month. Breast cancer is the second most common kind of cancer in women. About 1 in 8 women born today in the United States will get breast cancer at some point. The good news is that many women can survive breast cancer if it’s found and treated early,” said Dr. Marjorie Fridkin.
Dr. Patricia Gotsch noted, “Factors putting women at a higher risk for breast cancer include smoking, drinking alcohol and being overweight. Leading a healthy lifestyle is vital to disease prevention, including breast cancer.”
According to the American Cancer Society, more than 249,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with invasive breast cancer each year, and nearly 41,000 die from the disease. An important screening option is for women to have a 3D Mammogram. Like traditional mammography, 3D mammography uses x-ray images of breast tissue to detect lumps, tumors and other abnormalities. However, 3D mammography produces more detailed, more accurate images than traditional mammograms, which also leads to fewer false positives or false negative readings.
The National Cancer Institute has noted that death rates from breast cancer have been declining since about 1990, in part due to more prevalent screening and early detection, increased awareness, and continually improving treatment options.
The American Cancer Society recommends women begin getting mammograms at age 40 – 45; women aged 50 to 74 should have a mammogram at least every 2 years.
“As with any health issue, discuss your symptoms and fears with your health care provider. Addressing the concerns with your physician can lead to an early diagnosis, appropriate treatment and a positive outcome,” encouraged Dr. Abigail Feathers.
Additional information on breast cancer can be found at http://www.cancer.org/
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