Breast cancer survival rates have been rising over the last several decades in part because of better early detection. Brandon Regional Hospital encourages women in the greater Hillsborough County area to learn about what early detection encompasses and how it can save lives. The following questions and answers highlight crucial aspects of early breast cancer detection.
Why do doctors advocate early breast cancer detection?
Early detection is important for the treatment of many serious health problems, including breast cancer. The longer a disease can grow unhindered in the body, the greater the risk of damage to healthy tissues and systems. When breast cancer is found before patients experience obvious side effects of it, it likely has not had the opportunity to spread beyond the primary cancer site. In many cases, contained cancer growths require less extensive treatment measures.
What are the advantages of early breast cancer detection?
When breast cancer extends to the underlying bone or surrounding lymph nodes, it can become more difficult to target and eradicate from the body. Extensive breast cancer can also impact the immune system, making it more challenging for patients to fight the disease and endure treatment. Finding breast cancer in its earliest stages may require only localized treatment such as a lumpectomy to remove the tumor without having to remove the entire breast.
How can women increase the chances of early breast cancer detection?
Women can increase their chances of early breast cancer detection through several strategies. First, doctors encourage women to perform monthly breast self-examinations to learn about the normal attributes of their breasts and more easily find unusual characteristics. Second, women should have a breast care professional perform a yearly clinical examination to find symptoms that may be too subtle for patients to detect. Third, annual mammograms for all women age 40 and older can uncover abnormal growths in the breast that may point to breast cancer.
Are you due for your mammogram? Brandon Regional Hospital offers high-quality digital mammograms for Hillsborough County residents. To make an appointment, contact us today at (888) 327-2636.