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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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Spread the Word-Mammograms Save Lives

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. You might be asking yourself, what can I do to help this important cause? Many things can be done; but, perhaps most important of all, make sure you and all your loved ones stay up to date with your mammograms.

Mammograms are X-rays of the breast and they truly save lives. They detect cancer and other issues early when they’re easiest to treat. According to a study funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), women who stay up to date on their mammograms have a significantly lower risk of dying of breast cancer if they end up getting the disease. In fact, even missing one mammogram can increase your risk. This information is key for spreading the word about how important these screenings are.

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According to the ACS, women aged 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year, while those 55 and older can switch to every two years or continue yearly screenings. Women at higher risk of breast cancer should start getting mammograms before age 45. You can reach out to your doctor for more specifics.

This article really has two messages. First, get your regular mammograms. Second, make sure your loved ones do too. For various reasons, many women skip their mammograms on certain years or never get them altogether. Be open and talk with your loved ones, reminding them to stay up to date on these important screenings. Here are some tips and conversation starters:

  • Some people simply don’t know how important mammograms are. Share facts and articles to give them the education they need.
  • Many people get anxious or worried about medical tests. Let them know how easy it is to schedule and get a mammogram and how the benefits greatly outweigh any discomfort or hassle.
  • Some people think they don’t need mammograms unless they have symptoms or a history of cancer in the family. Let them know that mammograms are important for catching cancer in its early stages (before symptoms can be felt or seen) and that all women are at risk for the disease.
  • Finally, if you’re a woman, share your own experience about getting your regular mammograms and why it’s important to you. Firsthand advice is always valued.

Perhaps the best advice of all is to simply speak from the heart. Tell them how much you love them and care about them. This month and beyond, spread the word. Your voice can truly save lives.

For information about how to spread the word about mammograms, visit here.

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