October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and hopefully we are all aware of the high risk of breast cancer that surrounds us. We know that 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime, and all of us have someone close who has suffered with this cancer. In my own family, we lost Mary Ann’s mom, who was my wife’s mother, to this terrible disease.
Early detection saves lives, and it is all of our responsibility to encourage the special women whom we love to practice good breast health, which should include:
• Monthly self breast exams
• At a minimum of once a year, breast exams from your health care provider
• Yearly mammograms starting at age 40
• Special follow-up programs if there is a strong family history of breast cancer
As a gynecologist, breast health has been a daily and major part of my professional life. I encourage all of my patients to be their own best advocates when it comes to breast health. Do your self-exams. Do the recommended breast studies. Once the studies are done, get the results and understand what the results are. Do the follow-up studies and follow-up consults that are advised. If there is a problem, see the breast specialists. Get second opinions if there is ever a doubt. Let us all work together to defeat this foe!
My website: http://www.dr-polcino.com/