Sheldon, Iowa — A spokesperson for the American Cancer Society a while back said that the goal of October — Breast Cancer Awareness Month is, “Decreasing the number of women who die from breast cancer by increasing the number who are scanned by mammograms.”
We talked to Sanford Sheldon Physician Dr. Josephine Dunn-Junius recently, and she tells us the important ways to avoid breast cancer.
She says as a general rule they suggest annual mammograms for normal-risk women. She says if they determine you have a lower risk, either because of risk factors such as family history or because of your age, they may suggest less frequent mammograms. Also, she says if you’re under the age of 40 and find a lump, you should make an appointment and have it evaluated. Usually, she says, these are just benign cysts.
One of the risk factors that raise your risk — not only of lung cancer but also of breast cancer — is smoking.
She reminds us that Sanford and other services have many ways to help people quit smoking.
As far as mammograms, Dr. Dunn-Junius gives women some advice.
Dr. Dunn-Junius encourages people to wear pink during breast cancer awareness month and remember those who have lost their battles with breast cancer.
She also encourages people to give toward breast cancer awareness, as while early treatment saves many lives, there is still much research to be done.