Breast cancer is one of the most common kinds of cancer in women. About 1 in 8 women born today in the United States will get breast cancer at some point.
The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be 271,270 new cases of breast cancer in 2019, 99% of which will be diagnosed in women.
The good news is that most women can survive breast cancer if it’s found and treated early. A mammogram – the screening test for breast cancer – can help find breast cancer early when it’s easier to treat.
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a chance to raise awareness about the importance of finding breast cancer early, and Dr. Margolis, Radiologist at EMU Health in Glendale, Queens, shares ways to help prevent and detect this common, yet very serious, disease.
Dr. Margolis spent many years conducting breast cancer research at New York University School of Medicine, where he also served as a Breast Imaging Fellow and Chief Resident within its Department of Diagnostic Radiology. His medical degree was earned at the New York University School of Medicine.
Dr. Margolis has authored and/or presented nearly 30 medical research topics and is co-author of a chapter on quality and patient safety in the forthcoming book, Quality and Patient Safety in Imaging. Dr. Margolis has been Director of Women’s Imaging at Radiologic Associates, P.C. and Medical Director of the Ray W. Moody, M.D. Breast Center since 2015 and has recently joined Emu Health.
1. Reduce your risk
Since factors like genetics and age cannot be avoided, you can take measures to lower your risk of breast cancer mainly by staying healthy.
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention has several recommendations on how to do this.
The CDC recommends maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and discussing the risks of using oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy with your doctor. Breastfeeding your children if and when you have them, helps too.
They advise drinking little to no alcohol, citing sources that indicate that the risk of breast cancer increases with alcohol consumption.
Factors such as older age, dense breasts, genetic mutations, previous treatment using radiation therapy, and a family history of breast cancer may increase your risk of getting breast cancer, according to the CDC.
2. Know the symptoms
Many women are taught to look for new lumps or masses in their breast tissue but it’s important to be aware of other abnormalities.
Skin swelling or redness, change in breast shape, nipple discharge (other than breast milk), pain in or on the breast, and skin flaking or dimpling can be other possible warning signs of breast cancer, according to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America.
These signs are not a surefire indication of breast cancer, though, so be sure to see a doctor to discuss any new changes.
3. Get regular screenings
Some women are diagnosed with breast cancer after noticing symptoms, but many women with the disease have no symptoms at all. That’s why it’s vital to get regular mammograms.
The recommended age to start getting mammograms ranges from 40 to 50 depending on who you ask.
While the suggested age varies, the National Cancer Institute has found that women aged 50 to 69 years who get screening mammograms have a lower change of dying from breast cancer.
EMU Health has one of only two 3D Mammogram machines in all of Queens.
To schedule your 3D Mammogram appointment at EMU Health, call 718.849.8700 or email [email protected]
Make a difference! Spread the word about mammograms, and encourage communities, organizations, families, and individuals to get involved.