There are many illnesses and conditions that continue to remain incurable to this day, robbing us of our loved ones each and every year as scientists across the globe struggle to devise new treatments. Breast cancer is one such malady that, despite its alarmingly high rate of incidence among women, still continues to have no remedy. In fact, current assessment methods show that women now have a 20-25% chance of getting breast cancer during their lifetime! In the absence of a cure, doctors and specialists agree that early detection is the best weapon we have to fight this deadly disease.
Early detection is important for two reasons:
1.) It allows patients to begin a treatment regimen before the cancer has a chance to spread elsewhere in the body.
2.) It increases the chances that the treatment will be successful. By now, most women understand the importance of staying familiar with their own body when it comes to early detection, but many are not aware of the variety of clinical options that allow doctors to screen for breast cancer.
There are many methods that are continuously being researched and implemented in order to save lives, including:
• Mammography – The use of x-rays to examine the breast tissue for the presence of possibly cancerous masses.
• Clinical Breast Exam – A medical professional physically examines the breasts for lumps or other abnormalities.
• MRI – Provides very detailed images that doctors can use to further evaluate any questionable findings.
• Predictive Genetic Testing – Breast cancer is easily transmitted genetically, and doctors are now able to test for genetic predisposition and determine whether a woman is at “high risk” for the disease.
• Gail Model – A breast cancer risk assessment tool that takes into account a number of factors including a woman’s age at her first period, her family history, her ethnic background, and more.
• Ductal Lavage – A method used to collect cells from the milk ducts of a woman’s breast that can then be analyzed to detect cancer.
Believe it or not, some recent studies have even indicated that women may be able to prevent breast cancer! Regular physical exercise, breast feeding, and maintaining a healthy weight have all been shown in various studies to reduce the incidence of breast cancer, while alcohol consumption and hormone therapy both seem to increase a woman’s risk. More and more research continues to offer possible connections between lifestyle and cancer occurrence, but the fact remains that a woman’s best protection is still early detection!
For more information about breast cancer detection and screening, visit http://www.cancerconnect.com.