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Know when to screen for early detection and cure


BREAST Cancer Awareness Month is observed in October to create and create awareness about the impact, reasons and treatment of breast cancer. Breast cancer is more likely to affect women over 50. According to the National Cancer Registry Program report of 2020, it is estimated that over 2 lakh women in India have been diagnosed with breast cancer and the number is expected to reach over 2.3 lakh cases by 2025.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month also promotes the importance and need for early detection to save lives. Although breast cancer screening cannot prevent breast cancer, it can help detect cancer at an early stage, which likely aids the treatment process.

Breast cancer screening

Breast cancer screening involves checking a woman’s breasts for signs of cancer and symptoms of the disease. It is a medical screening for breast cancer in asymptomatic, healthy women with the aim of obtaining an early diagnosis. Additionally, screening tests may also be done when you have no symptoms of cancer. Women with a family history of breast cancer are offered genetic testing.

Types of breast cancer screening

1. Mammography

It is the most common screening test for breast cancer in women. A mammogram is an image of the inside of the breast that helps detect tumors that are too small to feel. There are three types of mammograms such as film mammography, digital mammography and digital breast tomosynthesis.

2. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

MRI is a breast cancer detection procedure that uses a magnet, radio waves and a computer to form a series of images of areas of the breast. It is also known as magnetic resonance imaging. MRI is used as a screening test for women at high risk for breast cancer.

3. Thermography

It is a process in which a special camera is placed which detects heat to record the skin temperature of the breasts.

4. Tissue sampling

Tissue sampling is a procedure that involves the removal of cells from breast tissue for verification under a microscope.

What time to do the screenings

Experts suggest that women should be screened for breast cancer at a young age for early detection. Women between the ages of 40 and 50 should get screened regularly. The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that women between the ages of 50 and 74 at average risk of breast cancer get screened every two years. Women between the ages of 20 and 49 should have extensive communication with doctors about when to start and how often to get breast cancer screening.

(Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment.)