As the Indian summer fades and October rustles in, it can almost seem like breast cancer awareness is ubiquitous to every part of our lives. Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women and is the second leading cause of cancer death among women. While one in eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetimes, with Ashkenazi Jews the rate is higher. Some specific changes, or mutations, in BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, occur more frequently in Ashkenazi Jews than in the general population.
However, early screenings and leading a healthy lifestyle are essential. With proactive early screenings, breast cancer is very treatable. According to the American Cancer Society, the five-year survival rate is 99 percent when found early and confined to a localized area.
Further, Hudson Regional Hospital provides a range of different examination and treatment options that can be used for preventing many cancers, especially breast cancer. Based on the most recent data and input from Hudson Regional Hospital physicians, here is a selection of breast cancer prevention tools that can be applied during all phases of life.
Look for the Signs of Breast Cancer
Sometimes the best prevention method is literally to take matters into your hands and perform a self-examination. You can look out for some of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer on their own. A few things you should be looking out for in self-examination are scaly, red or swollen skin near the breast, a lump or thickening near the breast, a change in the size or shape of the breast or dimpling or puckering of skin near the breast. When performing a self-examination, keep notes so that you can review with a health professional
Hudson Regional Hospital uses the latest x-ray and 3D digital imaging technology to test women for breast cancer. Traditional mammography produces just two images of each breast, a side-to-side view, and a top-to-bottom view. 3D mammography produces many X-ray images of the breasts from multiple angles to create a digital 3-dimensional rendering of internal breast tissue. Research suggests that radiologists can more accurately interpret results from 3D mammography in dense breast tissue, which can lead to fewer false-positive and false-negative readings.
Regarding preventive health, we recommend women receive a mammography annually, starting when they are 45. You can begin to have a mammography every other year after turning 55. In the last 20 years, mammographies have helped reduce the breast cancer mortality by 40 percent.
Not only important for your overall health but leading a healthy lifestyle can help prevent breast cancer. A few methods to live a healthy life include eating five to six servings of fruits and vegetables a day, get physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight. In addition, limit your alcohol intake and either quit smoking or don’t smoke at all.
Learn with Us
Hudson Regional Hospital is dedicated to building a healthier community, and we foster this community through educational events and seminars. On the weekend of October 27-28, we are holding an inaugural breast cancer brunch. This event will feature free breast cancer screenings, women’s health and information presentations and a free brunch. The event will last from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. If you would like to RSVP for our event, please visit our website or call 201-392-3278. Feel free to invite your friends; space is limited.
Hudson Regional Hospital offers these preventive services and others, both on an inpatient and outpatient basis. Patients can inquire about these services or schedule appointments by contacting the hospital directly, either via telephone at 201-392-3100, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Patients facing medical emergencies should proceed directly to the emergency room. The emergency room contact number is 201-392-3210.
For a tour of the new Hudson Regional Hospital or to meet the owner and executive staff, physicians should call George Matyjewicz at 201-392-3436 or email GMatyjewicz@HudsonRegionalHospital.com.