Breast cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the breast tissue. Some common signs of breast cancer include lump/pain in the breast, change in the size and shape of the breasts, nipple discharge or retraction and thickening or dimpling of skin. Breast cancer occurs when a breast cell starts to grow abnormally resulting in formation of lumps. Gradually, these cells can even spread out to other parts of your body through the lymph nodes. It is also rightly believed that hormonal, environmental, and lifestyle factors can increase the risk of breast cancer. Now, such a disease necessarily needs to be treated within the right span of time. This means, you need to get a Screening for Breast Cancer done as soon as possible and as recommended by your doctor.
What is Screening for Breast Cancer?
Screening basically means looking for signs of diseases to cure the disease at an early stage. So, screening for breast cancer is a process in which your doctor looks out for signs of breast cancer, only to treat and cure you from it at an early stage where it can be treated accurately.
To conduct a screening for breast cancer successfully, it is important for the doctor to know the patient’s age, family history, and certain exposures to further recommend a screening for breast cancer, the type of screening test that needs to be done, and how often must the test be performed.
Now, it is important for you to know that a doctor does not necessarily think that you have cancer if they suggest for a screening test. A screening test can also be recommended by your doctor to look out for cancer symptoms in order to treat it in the right time, if it occurs. As per the guidelines, it is recommended that women aged 40-49 should undergo screening once a year and women aged 50-74 should go for it once in 2 years.
Types of Screening for Breast Cancer
- Mammogram: Mammogram is simply an X-ray of the breast which is presently the best way to detect cancer at an early stage.
- Breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging: An MRI of breast uses magnets and radio waves to take pictures of the breast. It is also generally used along with mammograms to screen women that are at a higher risk of getting breast cancer. This test is not done on any other stage rather than higher risks because it may appear abnormal even when there is no cancer.
- Clinical Breast Exam: A clinical breast exam is simply an examination of the breast by a doctor. A doctor uses their hands to feel lumps and other changes to detect breast cancer.
- Breast self-awareness: It is a must that you familiarise with how your breast looks and feels. This is because, it can help you notice symptoms like lumps, pain, or changes in the size of your breasts. In case you find that there are changes that, report these changes to your doctor or healthcare provider for further check-ups.
There are always some benefits and risks of screenings, similarly screening for breast cancer has its own benefits and risks.
Benefits of Screening for Breast Cancer
The only major benefit of getting a screening for breast cancer done is that the cancer can be detected at an early stage where it can be treated.
Risks of Screening for Breast Cancer
A common risk for the screening of breast cancer is that it can either include false positive results or false negative results after being expensive, time-consuming, and invasive. Not only this, a false positive result can cause anxiety and can lead to over diagnosis and over treatment, meaning, it can cause unnecessary side effects. On the other hand, a false negative result can lead to delay in curing breast cancer.
Another risk factor is that a screening for breast cancer can cause pain during the procedure and after radiation exposure from a mammogram test. Although the amount of radiation in a mammogram test is small, there may be risks for repeated X-rays.
These were some tips for you to look at before opting for a screening test for breast cancer. At any time, while deciding for opting to get a screening for breast cancer done, if you have any questions to ask in person, you can reach out to the experts at the Lifeline Laboratory who can provide you with an accurate overview of your condition along with its solution.