What You Need to Know About Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign that seeks to raise awareness about all things breast cancer. To support the cause, some individuals adorn the color pink, fundraise for victims of the disease, or volunteer for major organizations like the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc., Breast Cancer Now, and many more. Many individuals, though, are surprised to learn that scheduling an annual mammogram could be one of the keenest ways to join the fight against breast cancer worldwide.

The History of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast Cancer Awareness Month began in the mid-1980s during a week-long event to raise awareness for the disease. Trailblazers behind the cause, like the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, began major initiatives including the Race for the Cure. Today, supporters from all over the world join together during the month of October to bring light to the cause.

If you know about Breast Cancer Awareness Month, then you would probably recognize the small pink ribbons worn by supporters of the cause. How did the pink ribbon become significant? Since Breast Cancer Awareness Month’s inception, the color pink was used in conjunction with efforts to support the cause. According to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, the ribbon aspect was introduced when “Alexandra Penney, editor-in-chief of Self magazine, wanted to put the magazine’s second annual Breast Cancer Awareness Month issue over the top. She did this by creating a ribbon and enlisting the cosmetics giants to distribute them in New York City stores.” Today, the color pink continues to be used to represent the challenges faced by breast cancer victims and families, the solidarity between victims, and hope for the future.

The Benefits of Mammography

A mammogram is a type of X-ray used to examine the breast for the early detection of cancer or other breast diseases. Mammography can be used as a screening and diagnostic technique. According to the National Cancer Institute, a screening mammogram checks for breast cancer in “women who have no signs or symptoms of the disease.” As a preventative X-ray, a screening mammogram captures two or more digital images of each breast. Physicians may be able to spot traces of breast cancer, like tumors or microcalcifications (tiny deposits of calcium), that are not noticeable at the breast’s surface using these precise X-rays. A diagnostic mammogram usually follows a screening mammogram, and it can diagnose changes in one’s breast that seem abnormal or uncommon.

Firstly, the screening mammogram is designed to discover breast cancer at an early stage; that way, any appropriate treatment methods will be more likely to yield successful results. Thanks to the American Cancer Society, decades of breast cancer research show “women who have regular mammograms are more likely to have breast cancer found early, are less likely to need aggressive treatment like surgery to remove the breast (mastectomy) and chemotherapy, and are more likely to be cured.” Secondly, annual mammograms conducted over long periods of time can benefit women in the future. The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation suggests a strong correlation between women who consistently participated in annual examinations over 10 years and a lower risk of dying from breast cancer. Annual screening mammograms do not completely prevent breast cancer; however, they do positively impact the fight against cancer and other related diseases.

Are you looking for a trusted diagnostic imaging partner located in South Florida? Windsor Imaging’s Fort Pierce location is home to Hologic Genius™ 3D Mammography™, an exam that yields more accurate results for women of all ages and breast densities. With Windsor Imaging’s state-of-the-art technology and caring radiology team, mammography patients can experience a successful mammogram while keeping comfortable and informed. Contact our team to learn more about the importance of annual mammograms.

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