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Mid Coast Center for Community Health & Wellness Newsletter
October 2020
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Breast Cancer Awareness

Breast Cancer Awareness

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women after skin cancer. The fact is that nearly one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some time during their lives. Per the 2020 American Cancer Society Facts & Figures, there will be an estimated 8,180 new cancer cases in Maine, and 1,370 female breast cases.

Across the United States, 60% percent of women over 40 and older had a mammogram in the past two years. Routine screening is still important during a pandemic. Women are busy. For some, balancing work and family life is a struggle, and finding the time to get a screening mammogram may be challenging. Mid Coast Hospital recommends women discuss screening options with their primary care providers.

Mammograms are capable of detecting signs of breast abnormalities before symptoms occur, so it continues to be imperative that women are screened regularly to reduce their risks. We recommend for women, who are at average risk, to:

  • Practice self-exams to maintain self-breast awareness
  • Consider annual clinical breast exam with primary care provider
  • Receive routine screening mammograms. At age 40, discuss with their provider, and to be prepared to share questions and family history.

For screening purposes, a woman is considered to be at average risk if she does not have a personal history of breast cancer, a strong family history of breast cancer, or a genetic mutation known to increase risk of breast cancer and has not had chest radiation therapy before the age of 30.

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