Early Detection Means a Better Chance with Breast Cancer


When it comes to surviving breast cancer, early detection gives you the best possible chance to beat the disease.  This is why it is so important for women and men to perform frequently self-exams and for women to be screened regularly, including annual mammograms after age 40.

Early Detection Means a Better Chance with Breast Cancer“Breast cancer experts at LewisGale Medical Center in Salem are stressing the importance of frequent examinations and screenings for early detection.

They recommend most women start to get mammograms every year after the age of 40. For those with a family member who had breast cancer, it’s suggested for women to get mammograms at least 10 years before the age that family member was diagnosed.

Bob Williams, a breast surgeon at LewisGale, says women who get mammograms each year rarely die of breast cancer. He says the cancer is caught at a very curable time.

Williams says it’s important for women and even men to know what their breasts look like and feel like. Self-examinations allow people to find anything that doesn’t seem quite right.

Radiologist Charles Long says digital mammography machines essentially take an X-ray of the breast from multiple angles. Doctors can examine the images to see if there are any abnormalities or asymmetries that might be a sign of cancer.

Many insurance companies cover mammograms because they are preventative measures against cancer. There are also programs in place, like the Every Woman’s Life grant, that allows women without insurance to have access to screenings.

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