Mommas, it is time to take control of your health. Become educated and stop putting yourself last. Your health is important.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and we challenge all of our readers to take some time to become educated about breast health. But, where to start?
The Mercy Breast Center-Springfield is a comprehensive breast center that utilizes a multidisciplinary approach to care. Their team is made up of surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologist, dedicated breast imaging radiologist, pathologists, nurse navigators, genetic counselors, chaplain, psychologist, technologists and many other support providers and support services. The center is accredited by the American College of Radiology as a Center of Excellence and their Breast Care Team is accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers.
The focus of the center is to detect breast cancer at its earliest, most treatable stage and to provide outstanding care for the patient from diagnosis through survivorship. Most of their patients are women, forty and over, but they also see younger women and male patients who have breast symptoms. They perform screening mammograms, diagnostic mammograms, breast ultrasound, breast MRI, breast biopsies and genetic assessments and counseling.
We had a chance to ask a few questions to the experts at Mercy Breast Center. We hope you find this information as helpful as we do!
1.) At what age should a woman begin self-examinations?
We recommend that women in their 20’s be aware of how their breasts normally look and feel and to report any new breast changes to a health professional. We provide teaching tools for performing breast self exams. Clinical breast exams are recommended beginning at age 20.
2.) When should we have our first mammogram?
We follow the American College of Radiology (ACR), American Cancer Society, (ACS), Society of Breast Imaging (SBI) and guidelines of other national organizations which recommends annual screening mammograms beginning at the age of 40.
3.) Understanding that genetics plays a large factor, has there been any research that tells us ways we can try to prevent breast cancer?
Although numerous studies have examined the relationship between food consumption (including fat, soy, dairy, meat, fruits and vegetables) and breast cancer, there is no conclusive evidence that diet influences breast cancer risk. Growing evidence suggests that women who get regular physical activity have a lower risk of breast cancer compared to women who are inactive.
Alcohol consumption and tobacco use increase the risk as well. While research hasn’t been able to tell us what we can do to prevent breast cancer, we know that routine mammography is the best tool for detecting breast cancer at its earliest and most treatable stage.
4.) If we have a loved one that has been diagnosed with breast cancer, what can we do to help?
Showing interest and concern is a way to help a loved one who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Listening will be important. You can seldom go wrong when you genuinely respond from the heart.
5.) Can you provide any advice to a woman that has been recently diagnosed?
It’s important for women diagnosed with breast cancer to know that they are not alone. There are professionals devoted to assist breast cancer patients throughout this new journey. Mercy Cancer Resource Center, the American Cancer Society, the Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks and other resources are readily available to provide practical services, education and support to both the patient and her family.
If you have questions or concerns, don’t wait. Call the experts at Mercy Breast Center today at 417.820.2500.
SouthwestMissouriMoms.com does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is for informational purposes only and isn’t a substitute for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor if you have questions about a medical condition. Don’t delay getting professional medical advice because of something you read online. This website doesn’t necessarily recommend or endorse any specific tests, doctors, products, procedures or opinions discussed on the site.