Health Watch - Breast Cancer: Detection

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so this week on Health Watch, we’ll talk about this disease that kills more than 40,000 American women a year. Although breast cancer can be deadly, nearly 90 percent of women with breast cancer will be alive five years later, if it’s detected early enough.

The keys to early detection of breast cancer are regular breast self exams and annual mammograms. Dr. Phil Evans, associate vice president for imaging services at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says women should begin having annual mammograms at age 40. Women with a close relative who has had breast cancer or those who have had chest X-rays to treat Hodgkin’s disease should talk to their doctors about beginning mammograms earlier. Women whose mothers had breast cancer before age 40 should begin annual mammograms when they’re 30. 

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October 2010


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