With education and close monitoring, women can take control of their breast
health. While breast cancer is the most common cancer in women - with
one in nine women developing the disease in their lifetime - maintaining
a disciplined approach to screening will improve the chances of finding
breast cancer early when it is easiest to treat. Early detection is the
key to improving the success of breast cancer treatment and saving a woman's life.
Some women fall in a higher risk group due to a number of factors. These include:
- increasing age
- a personal history of breast cancer
- a family history of breast cancer
- never having a baby
- having a first baby after age 30
- onset of menstruation before age 12
- onset of menopause after age 50
- obesity with a high-fat, high-calorie diet
- alcohol consumption, especially at a young age
These risk factors occur in only 15-20 percent of women and are merely
indicators that would put you in a risk group. No single factor guarantees
a breast cancer diagnosis, as physicians cannot explain how or why cancer
occurs. If you are in a risk group, remaining aware and closely monitoring
your breast health are the best tools to maintain total body health.
American Cancer Society website to learn more about that organization's many activites to
promote cancer prevention, early detection, healthy living, Relay for
Life, and survivorship. The American Cancer Society recommends the following
healthy living strategies to protect your breast health.
Taking the time to schedule and undergo a yearly mammogram gives women
the greatest control of their breast health. Mammograms can detect small
tumors and cancers up to a year before they could be felt in a physical
examination. This early detection lets women receive the most successful
and least invasive treatment options. A recommended yearly screening for
women 40 years or older takes only minutes and could easily save your life.
Schedule your mammogram today. Call 310-517-4738.
Breast cancer also does not mean a woman will lose her breast - particularly
with early detection and treatment. With radically improved treatment
and diagnostic techniques, physicians are now able to find breast tumors
as small as 2 millimeters (or the size of a pin head). When cancer is
found at these early stages, surgical removal can be performed with less
loss of breast tissue.
Conducting a breast self-examination (BSE) give women a role and responsibility
in the personal care of their health. The American Cancer Society recommends
monthly self-examinations for any woman over the age of 20, normally done
seven days following the beginning of the menstrual cycle. For post-menopausal
women, the exam should fall on the same day each month.
Classes are held at the Breast Diagnostic Center and are conducted by a
Certified Breast Self-Exam Trainer RN who specializes in all aspects of
breast health. Class sessions are
free. Class time at 5:00 to 6:00 pm.
2015 Class Schedule
- January 7
- March 11
- May 13
- July 15
- September 16
- November 11
Call 310-517-4709 for more information or to enroll in an upcoming class.
Visit the American Cancer Society for a detailed explanation of
how to conduct a breast self-examination.
Breast Health Education
Our Breast Health Navigator RNs are available to provide presentations
on all aspects of breast health, screening and breast cancer to community
groups, local business employee groups, etc. Contact the Torrance Memorial
Speakers Bureau for more information.
Physician Breast Exam
While breast self-examinations are a terrific way for women to take charge
of their personal breast health, there are some inconsistencies more easily
detected by a trained physician or nurse practitioner. It is recommended
that all women between the ages of 20-29 have a clinical breast examination
every 1-3 years. For those women over the age of 40 or in a higher risk
group, a physician or nurse practitioner breast exam is recommended yearly.
Talk to your regular care provider about getting a breast exam, or call
the Torrance Memorial
Physician Referral Line at 310-517-4700 for referral to a physician in the community.