Breast health is an extremely important aspect to womens' overall health. The Center for Disease Control tells us that breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. About 1 in 8 develop breast cancer over the course of their life. However, if breast cancer is detected early, the 5-year survival rate is remarkably high at 98%.1 That’s why, at Union General Hospital, we feel it’s extremely important for women to maintain breast health.
A Normal Change
Breasts, along with the rest of the body, begin to change as women entire their 30s, 40s and 50s. This change is completely normal. However, it’s necessary to understand that each woman’s breasts are different. Sagging is natural, as is having lumpy breasts around the time of menstruation. In order for women to detect change that isn’t normal, routine breast exams are key. In fact, the John Hopkins School of Medicine finds…
“Forty percent of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump, so establishing a regular breast exam is very important.2
If you happen to feel a lump that’s painful and persistent, please call us. We have the most up-to-date technology available for examining breast tissue. We’re able to use 3D and 4D Ultrasounds to take a closer, non-invasive and pain free look at the lesion.
Mammograms are something many women wonder about. Women who are in their 30s have a 1 in 229 risk of developing breast cancer. That’s why the typical age to begin having mammograms is at age 40.3 For women who have a history of breast cancer in their family, they are encouraged to begin 10 years early, at age 30.4
Many women are also concerned with how breastfeeding affects their breasts. While sagging is a common concern, it’s imperative to know that according to the National Cancer Institute, breastfeeding has been shown to decrease a woman’s risk for breast cancer. Doctors encourage breastfeeding for at least the first 12 months.
Keeping Breasts Healthy
If you’re wondering what you can do to keep your breasts healthy, here’s a few helpful tips:
- Perform regular monthly self breast exams (SBEs)
- Know your family history
- Exercise regularly
- Drink less alcohol, eat more vegetables
- Begin having mammograms at the appropriate age (30 for those with a family history, 40 for those without)
Here’s a simple breast health guide from the Susan G. Komen Foundation to help you stay on top of your breast health.
We Care About You
At Union General Hospital, our goal is to do everything we can to help maintain healthy and fruitful lives among all our patients. If you have any questions about the services we offer or would like to schedule an appointment in our women’s health department call now.
Call 404-778-3401 to make an appointment.