The Right Time to Screen for Breast Cancer and Other Breast Cancer Facts
October 17, 2018

Breast cancer is one of the most prevalent diseases in our world today with more than 200,000 cases per year. Estimates show that 1 out of 6 new cancers we diagnose are in women in their 40s. It’s a staggering statistic that shows the importance of understanding why we recommend screening to begin at age 40. If this statistic surprised you, read the following breast cancer facts. They show the prevalence of the disease.

Breast cancer facts:

  • Approximately 85% of women diagnosed have no identifiable risk factors.
  • One in eight women is diagnosed in their lifetime, while 15% of these diagnoses occur in women in their 40s.
  • It is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in females (after skin cancer).
  • Annually, more than 252,710 women in the United States are diagnosed and over 40,500 will die from the disease.  If we move from annual screening mammography beginning at age 40, to later screening beginning at age 50 and biennial instead of annual, approximately 12,000 more women will die each year.
  • Since screening mammography was rolled out in the late 1980s, breast cancer deaths have been reduced by 39% and we are diagnosing far more cancers in its earliest localized stage, which has a five-year survival rate of 98%.
  • There are over 3 million women alive today in the United States who survived breast cancer.

The last statistic is a positive one! Advancements in screening attribute to the high number of survivors.

Mammography screening was introduced in the early 1990s and has helped reduce the breast cancer death rate in the U.S. by over 30%. This number is staggering considering breast cancer statistics had not changed in over 50 years before the introduction of screening technology.

Can screening at 40 help save a life?

According to the Society of Breast Imaging, women should consider screening as early as 40 years old. The leading health organizations – American Cancer Society, the American Society of Breast Disease, the American College of Radiology, and the Society of Breast Imaging agree that earlier screening, between the ages of 40 and 49, can improve the survival rates.

While a mammogram isn’t perfect, it’s a valuable tool that can help detect breast irregularities and breast cancer early – when it is most treatable. Mammograms also determine breast density and are used as an initial tool to help target the need for a breast biopsy.

For more resources about mammogram myths, please visit the Society of Breast Imaging’s “End the Confusion” campaign.

To learn more about reducing your risk of breast cancer, learn about healthy habits suggested by the Mayo Clinic.

Your health is our top priority. CORA’s imaging specialists excel in breast and women’s imaging services. We offer state-of-the-art screening technology and provide a comfortable environment to lessen any stress you potentially have. Our preventive services such as mammography help you stay on top of your health and are proven to be effective.
Call to schedule your breast screening today (541) 382-9383.