October is here with Halloween items and “pink ribbons” in abundance! The pink ribbons have become a woman’s annual reminder to schedule screening exams, mammograms, and actively try to practice an overall healthier lifestyle.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month health promotions are an important part of the partnership between patients and providers. By a combination of education, counseling, and testing, each of us is provided with help and reminders to get screened and practice healthier living. A healthy lifestyle is something we should all strive to do better, every day. This includes the standards- eat right, exercise, stop smoking, reduce stress, sleep well, scheduling regular exams, etc. Sometimes this is all easier said than done, but make this month your opportunity to try and do some of these things a little better for the coming year. Overall, following healthier habits for women (and men) can help reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, high cholesterol, and cancers!
This month, women should specifically be “thinkin’ pink” to understand individual breast cancer risk and screening options. Screening tests are used to find breast cancer before it starts causing symptoms. There are two main screening tests that include clinical breast exams and mammography. If breast cancer is found early, then the chances of survival are highest!
Each individual also has a unique family and personal medical history that impacts the chances of getting breast cancer. Are you at high risk or average risk? Determining this risk level with a provider at your annual physical will help you make a plan for all future mammogram testing, screenings, and their frequency.
Breast self-exams should be done monthly by individuals. A clinical breast exam should be done by a provider for women of all ages during a regular physical. The recommendations for a mammogram have changed over the years for age and frequency with research. Most experts and our providers recommend that women ages 40-49 make an informed decision with a provider to decide when and how often a mammogram should be done. A provider can help evaluate patient and family history and other health risk factors to determine if annually is best. Women age 50+ should have a mammogram on a regular annual basis and consult with a provider for any questions. A breast MRI or ultrasound may also be ordered by your provider for individuals with high risk and is used for follow-up to abnormal mammograms for better diagnosis and staging.
This year, we hope that women in our community were able to take advantage of the annual “Brake for Breakfast” event. We distributed 1,000 breakfasts and information packets this year in American Falls, Rockland, and Aberdeen. Please review this information and take this opportunity to:
*LEARN MORE about your breast cancer risks!
*TAKE ACTION to schedule your screenings and mammograms!
The mobile 3D mammography bus from Portneuf Medical Center comes to Power County Family Clinic (502 Tyhee Ave) on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month- please call 208-226-3200 to schedule your appointment!
We are always excited to help our community be involved and learn more about healthier living. We encourage all women to actively participate in any health education and screening opportunities held throughout the year. Remember to take care of your health, for yourself and the loved ones who depend on you!