October and fall are often best known for pumpkin picking, hayrides and beautiful foliage. However, the season is also synonymous with breast cancer awareness, with various events being held across the country to highlight the importance of combating the deadly disease.
The cause is as important as ever, with approximately one in eight women in the United States developing invasive breast cancer during their lifetime.
“We can see that it's imperative for all women to know their personal risk for breast cancer, to get all recommended screenings and to recognize the signs of breast cancer," said Dr. Laura Klein, medical director of The Valley Hospital Breast Center. "Early detection can make all the difference in patient outcomes.”
Knowing one's risk is an important first step in identifying and treating breast cancer. Klein recommended women ask themselves the following questions, and speak to their doctor if they answer "yes" to any prerequisites:
- Do I have a family history of breast cancer?
- Do I have a personal history of breast cancer?
- Do I have history of breast atypia (abnormal breast tissue)?
Early screening through mammograms is also an incredibly important preventative step. “All women should make a commitment to go for all recommended breast cancer screenings, which are known as mammograms,” said Klein. “Early detection can save a life.”
Women should undergo clinical breast exams yearly from age 20 to 40 and begin scheduling annual mammograms and clinical breast exams at age 40.
In order to recognize if something may be wrong, it's important for women to familiarize themselves with the normal physical makeup of their bodies. By understanding their baseline, they will be better prepared to recognize the potential symptoms of breast cancer.
For those concerned about their breast health, contacting a physician as soon as possible is imperative. The Valley Hospital Breast Center provides comprehensive breast health services administered by experienced physicians, physician assistants, nurses, technologists and other support professionals to coordinate all aspects of a woman’s breast care.
The Center recently expanded and enhanced its services with the addition of a second breast imaging location at the Robert and Audrey Luckow Pavilion in Paramus. This new location, along with the original Ridgewood offering, increases the number of patients who can be served by the Center and improves patient access to same-day diagnostic mammograms, fine needle aspiration or core biopsies.
To schedule a mammogram or bone density appointment, please call 201-447-8600.