Like almost everything in women’s bodies, Breasts come in all shapes and sizes. They experience many changes many times and in many ways over lifetime. Thus, knowing how they normally look and feel is a first step for keeping good breasts health.
By far, breast cancer is among the biggest concerns in breasts health, it is the second leading cause of cancer death among women. According to the American Cancer Society, probably about 200,000 or more US women will discover this year they have breast cancer.
About one in eight adult females may be diagnosed with this invasive neoplastic disease during her life, and the probability of death is one in 35. The good news is that breast cancer rates are decreasing, which could be the result of an earlier cancer finding along with an improved treatment.
There is no doubt that earlier detection is fundamental in order to have many more treatment options available, which also gives better outcome chances. We can say that more than 95 per cent of women having their disease caught in earlier stages will be cancer-free about five years after having received diagnosis and treatment.
BSE is a very powerful way to catch a significant number – about 15/20 per cent – of tumors that might have not been detected then possibly after a year of doctor visits. Actually an amount of about 80 percent of cancers are found by women themselves. BSE gives women the opportunity to become familiar with their body, teaches them what’s normal for them, allowing them to be in the best position to detect almost hidden changes in their breast tissue.
According to research, a woman should do self-exam once a month, and as women who have mothers with breast or farther with prostate tumor have a higher likelihood of getting the disease, they should pay particular attention and do self-exam even more often. It is possible that about 80 percent of tumors not discovered by a mammography are found by women themselves.
Screening for breast cancer is not just mammograms; actually there are three ways: mammography, clinical exam and, of coarse, self-exams. The most typical screening mammograms consists of two x-rays of each breast, when diagnostic mammograms can have up to 8 x-rays of each breast. The combination of the three offer the best disease detection opportunity at its earliest, most treatable stages.
The clinical breasts exam is the responsibility of both the gynecologist and the primary care provider. For a breast cancer survivor, also an oncology specialist should be added to the list.
So, what constitutes good breasts health? According to what health care professionals recommend, we could say that for women age 20 and over, having an annual clinical breasts exam. For age 35/40 having a baseline mammogram and an annual clinical breasts exam. For age 40 and over, an annual clinical breasts exam and a mammogram every 1-2 years is what is supposed to constitute good health.