Ladies, it’s time to spring into action and take control of your health! As the flowers begin to bloom and the sun starts to shine, it’s the perfect time to focus on your breast health and get proactive about breast cancer prevention.
Routine breast screenings are a vital component of early detection and prevention. According to the American Cancer Society, women should start considering mammograms at age 40 and should definitely start getting them annually by age 45. If you have a family history of breast cancer or other risk factors, your doctor may recommend starting screenings earlier or more frequently.
There are several breast screening options available, including mammograms, ultrasounds, MRIs, and thermography. Mammograms are the most common and widely used screening tool, while ultrasounds are often used in conjunction with mammograms for further evaluation.
MRIs are recommended for women at high risk of breast cancer, while thermography is a newer, less-invasive option that uses heat imaging to detect changes in the breast tissue.
Let’s take a closer look at each option to help you better understand which screening tool may be best for you.
A mammogram is a low-dose X-ray that takes images of the breast tissue. It’s the most common and widely used screening tool for breast cancer. Mammograms can detect small lumps or changes in the breast tissue that may be indicative of breast cancer. They are generally recommended for women over the age of 40 and should be done annually. However, mammograms are not always efficient for women with dense breast tissue.
An ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of the breast tissue. It’s often used in conjunction with a mammogram to further evaluate any changes or abnormalities detected. Ultrasounds are particularly useful for detecting changes in breast tissue that are not visible on a mammogram.
An MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create detailed images of the breast tissue. It’s recommended for women who are at high risk for breast cancer, such as those with a family history or genetic predisposition. MRIs can detect small changes in the breast tissue that may not be visible on a mammogram or ultrasound.
Thermography is a newer, alternative option for breast cancer screening that uses heat imaging to detect changes in the breast tissue. It works by detecting temperature differences in the breast tissue that may be indicative of cancerous or precancerous cells. On a thermogram image, “hot spots” appear red compared to surrounding tissue. Normal tissue will appear yellow, green, or blue. Anywhere exhibiting an inflammatory response will show up on a thermogram image as hot.
Thermography may be appealing to low-risk women who prefer a non-invasive screening option. For example, during a thermogram screening, the machine never touches your body. This can be very helpful for women, especially those who’ve experienced trauma or other issues.
Ultimately, the best screening option for you will depend on your individual risk factors and personal preferences. Make sure to talk to your doctor about which screening tool may be best for you.
In addition to routine screenings, it’s essential to perform monthly self-exams at home. Check for any changes in the shape or size of your breasts, as well as any lumps or bumps. If you notice anything unusual, make sure to contact your doctor right away.
Not sure how to start? The Keep A Breast Foundation™ Check Yourself Program creates and distributes breast health education and even offers an easy-to-use Keep A Breast app to track your self-exams.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can also help reduce your risk of breast cancer. Eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can provide your body with the nutrients it needs to function properly. Regular exercise can also help keep your body healthy and reduce your risk of developing breast cancer.
And if you want to address breast health from the inside out, a daily supplement like Violet can help. Violet is a unique molecular iodine formula that promotes healthy breast tissue and is clinically proven to reduce symptoms of premenstrual breast pain and other issues.
So, ladies, it’s time to spring into action and take charge of your breast health. Make sure to schedule your routine screenings, perform monthly self-exams, and maintain a healthy lifestyle to reduce your risk of breast cancer. Remember, your health is your most valuable asset, so take care of it!