JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. --
This October will mark the 33rd annual Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The 11th Medical Group will hold a Breast Cancer Awareness Event to increase awareness for the risk of breast cancer and the genetic influence and perception of breast cancer through the perspective of a caregiver. The event will be held at Bldg. 1050, Kathmandu Café, Oct. 18, 2018, from 3-4:00 p.m.
Over 300,000 women and 2,500 men will be newly diagnosed with breast cancer, yet overall breast cancer rates have been declining since 2000. The importance of prevention and early detection is supported by the 5-year survival rates. At Stage 4, the survival rate is 22 percent, but approaches almost 99 percent if breast cancer is detected early. Survival rates are due to advances in screening, diagnostics, and therapies. According to a 2018 study, one advance allows many women to avoid chemotherapy after surgery in early stage breast cancer.
“Prevention is key to reduce breast cancer risk,” reports Maj. Corey Teagarden, 11th Medical Group women’s health flight commander. “Consuming a balanced diet with fruits and vegetables, maintaining a healthy weight, engaging in routine exercise five days a week, consuming alcohol in moderation, and avoiding smoking have been shown to be beneficial.”
The American Cancer Society supports being aware of breast changes. Although there is variation when to begin baseline screening mammograms, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend beginning at age 40 for average-risk women. This should be continued every one to two years.
The American College of Radiology recommends annual mammographic screening beginning at age 40 for women of average risk. Higher-risk women should start mammographic screening earlier and may benefit from supplemental screening modalities.
“TRICARE beneficiaries can schedule a screening mammogram without a referral by contacting the Diagnostics Imaging Department at 240- 612-2760,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Vojta, 11th Medical Group diagnostic imaging flight commander. “We also offer walk-in screening mammograms Monday through Friday, from 8-10 a.m. and noon-3 p.m. if you meet certain criteria: you are a woman age 40 and above, are due for your routine screening, have no breast symptoms, no personal or family history of breast cancer, and have prior films for comparison.”
For additional information on breast cancer, visit the American Cancer Society at www.cancer.org, the National Cancer Institute at https://www.cancer.gov/types/breast, and the National Breast Cancer Foundation at www.nationalbreastcancer.org.