Most women are going to get breast cancer at some point in their lives. It’s just a matter of time.
For years now, organizations like the Susan G. Komen Foundation have done a great job educating the general public about the prevalence of breast cancer in our society. The number cited most often is that 1 in 8 women (or 12.5%) will get breast cancer at some point in her lifetime. While this statistic is validated through clinical research, it can in fact scare many women away from the very screening they need to receive the benefits of early detection.
While many ads and news stories focus on the 1 in 8 statistic, we at Solis Mammography prefer to talk about the converse to that statistic – namely, that 7 in 8 women will NOT get breast cancer in her lifetime.
This may seem counter-intuitive for a mammography provider to say. Many might fear that promoting this statistic will prevent women from getting their annual mammogram.
But here’s what we know:
We’ve done extensive market research with women who do not get their annual mammogram in order to better understand why. What we hear, time and again, is that fear is not a motivator in moving these women towards scheduling their annual screening. In fact, for most, it does the opposite. It pushes them away because they not only fear the potential that “they might be next”, but also the very scary idea of the treatment and side effects that come with such a diagnosis. In the words of many women we talked to, they would rather “just not know.”
And this is where knowledge is key. We believe an empowered woman, when educated with the right information, will make the best choices about her health. And the fact is – the odds of an average woman getting a breast cancer diagnosis are low. The vast majority of the 600,000+ women who get their annual screening at Solis will receive an “all clear for another year” diagnosis.
But – if you are the 1 in 8, early detection can and does significantly improve both longevity and quality of life. When found early, any needed treatment is often less invasive, less expensive, and less stressful (to you and your loved ones) than if you find it at a later stage (after you’ve found something through self-exam, or perhaps ignored your annual screening for too many years.)
While the odds of diagnosis do change if you have breast cancer in your family history, the benefits of early detection do not.
If you’re curious about your individual risk, try this Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool from the National Cancer Institute.
But no matter the results of your assessment, remember that peace of mind comes not from hiding in the dark but from shining a light on the important subject of breast health. Get the facts. Perform regular monthly self-exams. And get your annual screening mammogram, starting at age 40.
Information is power, ladies. Empower yourself with the earliest possible opportunity to treat and remove any areas of concern, providing you and your loved ones the peace of mind you deserve.
To schedule an appointment, visit Solis Mammography online.