Self exam in the shower, while getting dressed or while getting ready for bed. Some clinics offer reduced rates or free mammograms. Although the message remains the same, not enough men and women routinely check for the lumps and fluid in breasts that can be early indicators of breast cancer.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and the American Cancer Society and local clinics are urging women and men to make the routine checks that can save their lives.
Latest statistics from American Cancer Society show that there will be 230,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer among women. About 39,520 women will die from the disease.
While the death rate of those diagnosed with breast cancer is steadily declining, the number of deaths remains high for women from poor areas, according to the American Cancer Society.
Few also realize that breast cancer can also impact men. About 2,140 will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year and 450 men will die from the disease.
While clinical and self exams are encouraged, mammograms are also highly recommended as they can detect cancers that regular clinical or self exams may miss.
This month at Intercommunity Hospital in Covina, the non-insured can qualify for a mammography exam and a reading at a reduced rate of $92. However, all exams must be accompanied by a physician’s order, according to a hospital representative.
The American Cancer Society also has information on health departments and health care systems that offer free mammograms. Call 1-800-227-2345 for more information.
While Breast Cancer Awareness Month has been observed every year in October for the past 27 years, few know how often they should conduct their routine exams for breast cancer.
According to Laura Ramos from Glendora mammography center , women in their 20s should have a clinical breast exam every three years. Women should have their first mammogram by the age of 35, with the exams occurring every year afterwards.
If an individual has family history of breast cancer, mammograms should begin by the age of 25 and continue every year afterwards.