Ralla: Make your mammogram happen!

Dr. Deepika Ralla

One in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year and the reality is when diagnosed early it is treatable and curable. Every 74 seconds, somewhere in the world, a woman dies from breast cancer. It is the leading cause of cancer death among women worldwide. The American Cancer Society estimates that 287,850 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed this year. These alarming statistics come with a plea for women to understand the importance of scheduling an annual mammogram.

Mammograms are the most important tool physicians have for the early detection of breast cancer, even when there are no signs or symptoms. Mammography has helped reduce breast cancer deaths in the U.S. by nearly 40% since 1990. The 5-year survival rate of women with cancer in only one breast is 99%, whereas it is only 29% if cancer has spread to other parts of the body.  

At CHRISTUS Health, our Breast Center team provides compassionate care and services needed with the most innovative technology available, including Digital 3D mammography which has proven to increase the detection of breast cancer. 

We emphasize the importance of breast exams and mammograms for women starting at age 40, and for men with a family history of breast cancer.  For women with a family history or health issue that could increase their risk factors, the time to start having mammograms could be earlier. Beyond family history, studies have shown that the risk for breast cancer is due to a combination of factors, including being a woman, getting older, reproductive history, and genetic mutations. Women should talk to their physicians and know when it is time to start having annual mammograms and address any changes in their breasts and health.  

Choosing to do something about it starts with understanding your breast cancer risk. Finding breast cancer easier means being able to treat it sooner and celebrate even more survivors; all because women are choosing to be proactive about their breast health.

 Find out your risk by taking a quick assessment and learning more about scheduling a mammogram https://ter.li/breastcanceraware.

Dr. Deepika Ralla specializes in hematology and oncology, with additional specialized training in medical humanities. She joined the team at the CHRISTUS Cancer Treatment Center in August and is accepting new patients.

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