Breast & CervicaL Cancer
Did you Know?
During the 1990's, an estimated 2 million American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and cervical cancer, and about half will die from these diseases. Reducing the toll from breast and cervical cancers requires increased use of proven screening methods.
These methods--mammography, examination of the breasts by a health care provider, and Paps mears, an examination based on the analysis of bodily secretions of the female genital tract--can detect cancer at an early, more treatable stage. In fact, cancer of the crevix--the narrow portion of the uterus that opens into a woman's vagina--can actually be prevented by Pap testing which can detect precancerous changes in the cervix early enough for them to be treated and cured.
Regular examination of the breasts by a health practitioner and regular breast self exams are the breast cancer screeening methods recommended for most women under 50 years of age. For women 50 and older, mammography is the single most effective means of detecting breast cancer and can reduce this disease by up to 30%! A mammogram is a low dose x-ray exam that gives doctors a picture of the breasts internal structure. A mammogram can detect a lump in a breast up to 2 years before a woman can feel the lump!
The Papanicolaou test, or Paps smears, is the most effective method for finding precancerous changes or cancers of the cervix. To perform a Pap test, a health professional takes a special sample of loose cells from the cervix. Examination of this sample under a microscope can help determine if abnormal cells are present. The Pap test provides the means to prevent nearly all deaths from cervical cancer.
Factors that increase the risk of breast cancer......
Family history of breast cancer
Previous breast cancer
History of benign breast disease
Giving birth at an early age
Factors that increase the risk of cervical cancer......
First intercourse at an early age
Multiple sex partners
Note: The battle against breast and cervical cancer is increasing each day. The best defense against these diseases is being educated on them.