In Mississippi, over 400 women die from breast cancer every year. However, 60% of all cancer incidents are treatable. This means while the road to recovery might be slow, it is surely possible. So, why is the breast cancer mortality rate so high in our state? This is most likely due to a lack of screening where cancer can be detected and treated at an early stage. At The Woman's Clinic, we want to change this statistic by keeping you healthy and informed. It’s important to learn whether or not you are at a higher risk for breast cancer and understand the value of regular screenings.
Who is at Risk?
There are several factors that put you at risk for breast cancer:
- Menstruation before the age of 12
- Menopause after the age of 55
- Giving birth after the age of 35 or never having a child
- Not breastfeeding
- Dense breast tissue (potentially caused by hormone replacement therapy)
- Relatives with breast cancer
- Previous diagnosis
- Women who are African American
Most women are susceptible to breast cancer after the age of 50. African American women have the highest mortality rate from breast cancer, because their tumors are often found too late and cancer has reached a higher, more dangerous stage. Women who are overweight are also at a higher risk.
So much of cancer prevention is linked to your lifestyle, so consider making some changes in order to stay healthy and prolong your life. Simply getting at least four hours of exercise each week, making better food choices, maintaining a healthy weight, and limiting alcohol consumption are a few changes you can make that just may save your life.
Breast Cancer Screening
While the risk factors listed above may indicate the potential for breast cancer, some women who are diagnosed do not demonstrate any risk. This is why regular screenings are so important. Mississippi is one of the ten states with the lowest breast cancer screening rates, especially in older women. While 80% of all breast cancer is found in women over the age of 50, now is not the time to skip your yearly doctor appointment.
Screenings should be scheduled at least every two years which will increase the probability of finding and treating breast cancer before it's too late. Don’t hesitate. If you may be at risk for breast cancer or have not had a screening in several years, schedule a mammogram at The Woman’s Clinic. In fact, we are the first private clinic to offer a 3D mammogram. The results from a 3D mammogram versus 2D are substantially more clear, eliminating the need for follow-up procedures and giving you peace of mind. Since we are able to see multiple angles of your breast through the 3D technology, there is a greater expectation for early detection and diagnosis. We are committed to work towards changing the statistics of breast cancer in Mississippi women. Now it’s time for you to do your part and make an appointment for a breast cancer screening today.