American Women Foregoing Mammograms To Detect Breast Cancer, Survey Finds

In the US, over 260,000 new breast cancer cases are identified each year, and nearly 40,000 American women die of breast cancer yearly. The best way of beating breast cancer is early detection and treatment, but a new study from Orlando Health reveals that a high percentage of young women are skipping mammograms.

Women at risk of breast cancer need to start mammograms at 40 years 

According to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network’s latest guidelines, women at risk of breast cancer must start annual mammograms at around 40 years old. On the other hand, those with a family history of cancer, atypical cells, dense breast tissues and past biopsies should start yearly mammograms early in life. 

Surprisingly around 22% of American women between 35 and 44 have never received a mammogram and don’t plan on getting one soon. 

Medical oncology team leader for the Breast Cancer Center at the Orlando Health Cancer institute Nikita Shah said that instead of waiting until the patient feels the lump when the tumour is likely in stage 2 or three, mammograms could detect extremely small cancers and lead to diagnosis at early stages. That is the distinction between less intensive therapies like a lumpectomy and perhaps a brief session of radiotherapy and more intensive ones like chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. Additionally, survival drops from almost 100% at stage zero to 50–70% for individuals identified at stages two or three.

Breast cancer disproportionately affects black women compared to white women.

Surprisingly only a third of American women (32%) are aware of personal breast cancer risk factors, with less than 43% being informed of their family’s breast cancer history. Some important factors in the early detection of breast cancer are knowing one’s risk factors and starting cancer screening earlier. 

This is particularly true for women who are disproportionately impacted by the illness, like Black women. For example, compared to white women, African-American women are twice as likely to be found with breast cancer at an earlier age and are 40% most likely to die from the disease.

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