October 17, 2022
Some women who have no family history of breast cancer might think they can skip their mammograms. However, 80% of women who are diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history at all, according to the American Cancer Society. Listing lack of family history is one of the more troubling reasons Dr. Kevin Dwyer, Coryell Health radiologist, says he hears from women regarding why they put off their yearly mammogram.
80 % of women who have breast cancer have no family history.
“Early detection is critical,” says Dwyer. “If you wait to have a mammogram until you have symptoms of breast cancer, such as a lump or discharge, at that point the cancer may be more advanced .” According to the American Cancer Society, early-stage breast cancer has a five-year survival rate of 99 percent. Later-stage cancer has a survival rates of 27 percent.
When Bonnie Latham was only 30 years old, she received a shocking diagnosis of Stage I, Triple Negative Breast Cancer. With only paternal history two generations removed, the young mom was not expecting this kind of life altering news. Due to a routine annual exam, her breast cancer was caught early and dealt with swiftly.
Bonnie shares her cancer story to, “Encourage other women, especially young women, to be more cognizant of their health. I want to stress the importance of early mammograms and maintaining your annual appointments because they can literally save your life. Cancer doesn’t discriminate and I want people to be proactive in their health instead of reactive.”
“The fact is, women are getting diagnosed with breast cancer who have zero family history,” says Dywer. “Yes, there is a genetic component to breast cancer, but don’t think you’re out of the woods because you don’t have a family history. Women with close relatives who’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer do have a higher risk of developing the disease, but family history is just one contributing factor. Being born a female and aging are also significant risk factors.”
Dwyer adds, another big deterrent is the fear of finding something.
“Of course, there can be anxiety to overcome, but we try to have our women focus on the fact they are being proactive. We can catch things so early now with 3D mammography, if we do find something, you’re going to have more treatment options, and oftentimes less invasive treatment options the sooner you catch something versus letting it go and finding something at a more advanced stage,” he explains. “If you have a mass, it’s going to be there whether you get screened or not. But if we find it early, it can really make a world of difference when it comes to treatment.”
Patients who get their mammogram screening in October get a free t-shirt in recognition of
Breast Cancer Awareness Month!
Call Coryell Health to schedule your annual 3D Mammogram! These screenings are your best bet for detecting breast cancer as early as possible. Doctors recommend all women aged 40 and above schedule one visit yearly. To make your appointment today, call (254) 248-6238. Coryell’s waiting period is usually less than 48 hours.