October 2010 Imaginis Newsletter
- October 15 is National Mammography Day!
- More Research Finds Breast Cancer Risk Associated with Long-Term Hormone Replacement Therapy
- Study: Removing Breasts or Ovaries Appears to Effectively Prevent Cancer in High-Risk Women
- Evaluating a Breast Lump
Friday, October 15, 2010, has been designated National Mammography Day in the United States. Women are encouraged to use this day as a reminder to make an appointment to get a mammogram. Mammography, an x-ray examination of the breasts, is considered by experts at the "gold standard" in breast cancer detection. Mammography can help detect breast cancer years before a lump can be felt by physical touch. The earlier breast cancer is detected, the greater the chances it can be successfully treated.
Another study highlights potential risks associated the long-term use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT), adding to a growing body of research. The latest study showed that taking estrogen for 15 years or longer increased a womanÂ´s breast cancer risk by 19 percent, compared to women who never used the treatment, and the risk was increased to up to 83% for women who took a combined estrogen and progestin regimen. Furthermore, the risk was highest among women who had lower body mass indexes. Researchers of this study concluded that hormone replacement therapy should be used for the shortest amount of time possible in those women who need it to relieve menopausal symptoms.
Some women at high-risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer have made the difficult decision to have their breasts or ovaries surgically removed to reduce their risk of cancer. A new study appears to support the effectiveness of this option. In reviewing medical records of nearly 2500 women, researchers found that women who had a genetically high risk of breast or ovarian cancer and who opted for prophylactic surgery reduced their risk of developing cancer. However, preventive surgery remains a drastic and personal option that women should carefully discuss with their physicians and loved ones, along with alternative measures, based on their individual medical situation.
The discovery of a breast lumpâ€”whether by chance, a breast self-exam, or during a clinical breast examâ€”can be stressful for a woman. The majority of breast lumps are due to non-cancerous causes. However, because a lump can be a symptom of breast cancer, all persistent breast lumps should be evaluated by a physician. Learn the signs that suggest a lump whether might be cancerous or benign, how lumps are evaluated, and what to do if you or a loved one finds a lump.