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Early detection key to treating breast cancer

Oct 2, 2020

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, know your risk factors

“A mammogram can save a life.” The message is heard every year in October during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but it applies during the pandemic and all year round: your health can’t wait.

Dr. Linda Greer, a breast imaging specialist at Abrazo Health, has seen the value of early detection time and again during her medical career spanning more than 25 years in Phoenix. “We are here to help you fight breast cancer with information, advanced technology and compassionate medical care,” she says.

“October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and with regular screenings, advances in imaging technologies are leading to more accurate diagnoses so breast cancer can be detected and treated in its earliest stages,” said Dr. Greer. “You should not delay preventive care, even during the pandemic. Patients should feel confident and safe in any Abrazo facility or physician practice.”

Nearly 80 percent of breast cancers occur in women with no family history or known risk factors. Cancers in younger women tend to be more aggressive, added Dr. Greer, so early detection is critical. Many women with breast cancer have had no symptoms, which makes screening so important.

The American Society of Breast Surgeons and the American College of Radiology recommend screenings as early as age 40, but those with a family history may consider being screened sooner. For women at high risk or who have been found to be positive for the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation, screening should begin between the ages of 25 and 30.

“Women should be proactive about knowing their breast density and risk assessment value, and no matter their schedule, make time to get screened,” said Dr. Greer. “If you think you may be at risk, please talk to your doctor about recommendations for screenings and how often you should get them.”

Dr. Greer noted that Abrazo has a dedicated mammography registration phone number, 602-824-HOPE. Callers can speak directly with a scheduler who can help plan appointments for personalized care.

The Breast Health Center at Abrazo Central Campus, 2000 W. Bethany Home Rd., offers a safe space for women to discuss concerns about the risk of developing breast cancer, receive information on prevention, or explore treatment options after receiving a diagnosis of breast cancer. The center’s 3D mammography helps doctors detect breast cancer in its early stages.

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