When was your last mammogram? On October 21st celebrate National Mammography Day by scheduling your annual mammogram. Breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer among women in the United States and the chance of a woman developing breast cancer in her lifetime is a little less than 1 in 8. Routine screening is essential for the early detection and treatment of breast cancer.
All women are at risk for breast cancer, but as women grow older their risk increases. Besides age, there are many other factors that may increase a woman’s chance of developing breast cancer. Some of these factors include having a family history of breast cancer, having inherited changes on specific genes such as the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, never having had children, or having your first child after the age of 30. Breast cancer may not cause any symptoms in its early stages, however as it develops symptoms may include:
§ a lump or thickening in the breast
§ pain in the breast or the nipple
§ nipple discharge
§ dimpling of the breast skin
§ flaky, red, or swollen skin anywhere on the breast.
Screening for breast cancer includes a clinical breast exam and a mammogram. A clinical breast exam is an exam of a woman’s breasts by a healthcare provider that allows he/she to feel for any lumps or abnormalities. A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast.
No health insurance? No problem! The Onondaga County Cancer Services Program Partnership (CSP) offers free breast exams, mammograms, and Pap tests for women age 40 years and older who do not have health insurance. In addition, the CSP offers free colorectal screening for men and women age 50 years and older who do not have health insurance. These services are available at private health care provider offices throughout the city of Syracuse and Onondaga County. Please call 435-3653 today to make your appointment!