Despite millions of dollars being spent on research and awareness programs, breast cancer remains one of the most common forms of cancer among women. An estimated 252,710 women and 2,470 men in the United States will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer this year, according to the nonprofit American Cancer Society’s Cancer Facts and Figures 2017 report. Consequently, it’s important to get screened by a medical professional regularly in order to catch this disease in its early stages.
What types of screenings are available?
There are two types of screening options available: computer regulation thermography and mammography.
The latter is more commonly known, using x-rays to examine the health of a patient’s breasts and check for any abnormalities.
The former has been utilized to detect early signs of breast cancer since 1962. In recent years, thermography has become more popular because it does not involve using x-rays or exposing patients to radiation, but rather, registers heat energy onto the skin and converts it into data signals on the computer. Thermography also has the ability to uncover signs of other cancers, as it can evaluate organs throughout the body.
How much time should there be in between screenings?
It’s recommended that women over the age of 40 should have a breast thermography—or mammography—performed on an annual basis, unless their health care provider suggests otherwise.
If there is a history of breast cancer in your family, it may be in your best interest to receive the test more than once per year. To quote the aforementioned report: “Women who have a mother, sister, or daughter with a history of breast cancer are about twice as likely to develop breast cancer as women who do not have this family history.”
Being proactive with your health and ensuring you're keeping up-to-date with recommended tests and exams is always of great importance.