Cancer Society offers breast cancer guidelines
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a month dedicated to increasing public knowledge about a disease that will strike an estimated 212,920 women in the United States this year. In addition, there will be an estimated 1,720 news cases of breast cancer in men resulting in 460 deaths.
In Rhode Island alone, 780 women will be diagnosed and 150 women will die in 2006. During October, and all year long, the American Cancer Society pursues its goal of eliminating cancer as a major health problem by providing life-saving information and services, conducting community outreach and education, and advocating for local state and federal legislation to ensure that access to breast cancer detection and treatment is available to all.
The ACS guidelines for early detection of breast cancer include:
+ Yearly mammograms, starting at age 40, and continuing for as long as a woman is in good health.
+ A clinical breast exam or CBE about every three years for women in their 20s and 30s, and every year for women 40 and older.
+ Reporting any breast changes promptly to a health-care provider. Breast self-exam or BSE is an option for women starting in their 20s.
+ Talking with a doctor about the benefits and limitations of starting mammography screening earlier, having additional tests, or having more frequent exams.
The American Cancer Society offers several services that provide support to those patients, and their families, who have experienced breast cancer. Information about cancer can be accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by calling the society's toll free (800)-ACS2345 information line, or by logging onto its Web site at www. cancer.org.