Be around for countless family dinners, movie nights and birthday parties to come. Set up your free or low-cost breast cancer screening with the Care for Yourself program by contacting us or calling 1-866-339-7909.
Why are breast cancer screenings important?
In Iowa, it was estimated that 2,700 women would be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020 and nearly 390 would die from this disease. Only lung cancer causes more cancer deaths among Iowa women.
Breast cancer can be scary, but when found early, you have more treatment choices and a better chance of recovery. That’s why it’s so important you get screened, especially if you have any symptoms of breast cancer, including:
- A new lump/thickening or anything that feels different in or around the breasts
- Swelling or tenderness, pain or dimpling of the breasts or nipples
- Puckering, redness, ulcerations or scaly skin on the nipples or breasts
- One or both of the nipples are turned inward
- Any spontaneous discharge or leaking from a nipple or both nipples if you are not breast feeding
- Change in the size or the shape of the breast
Do you have any breast cancer risk factors?
The two major risk factors for breast cancer are simply being a woman and aging. Although breast cancer can happen at any age, it becomes more common as women get older. Most women who are diagnosed with breast cancer do not have family history of the disease but having a relative who has or had breast cancer can increase your risk.
Having a risk factor doesn’t mean you’ll get the disease. It simply means it’s important to practice prevention and receive early detection screening services.
Risk factors include:
- A personal or family history on both sides of your family (maternal/paternal) of breast cancer in a first degree relative.
- Beginning menstruation before age 12 or starting menopause after age 55
- Using combined hormone replacement therapy (combined estrogen and progestin)
- Having a higher weight, especially after menopause
- Alcohol consumption
- Smoking or being exposed to secondhand smoke
- Never giving birth or having a first baby after age 30
Early detection could save your life.
When breast cancer is found early, it means you can get treatment as soon as possible – which can lead to a better outcome. Here are three important methods that can detect breast cancer:
- Having a mammogram every year
- Having a clinical breast exam by your healthcare provider
- Knowing your normal and reporting changes to your healthcare provider