Sign Up for an Annual Reminder

bc-education-mtp-pinkTake charge of your health and sign up to receive a mammogram and/or clinical breast exam reminder.

Just complete this simple form, and each year on the date you choose, you will receive a reminder to schedule your mammogram or clinical breast exam.

By taking this simple step, you may lower your risk of dying from breast cancer.

http://apps.komen.org/Subscriber/new-user-registration.aspx?unauth=1

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Breast Cancer Education: Clinical Breast Exam

bc-education-mtp-pinkA clinical breast exam (CBE) is a physical exam done by a health care provider as part of your regular medical check-up. Your provider should carefully feel your breasts and underarms for any changes or abnormalities (such as a lump). He/she should visually check your breasts while you are sitting up and physically examine your breasts while you are lying down. If a CBE is not offered at your check-up and you would like one, ask your provider if he or she can perform one (or refer you to someone who can).

If you are 20-39 years old, get a CBE at least every three years. If you are 40 or older, have your mammogram close to the time of your CBE. In women ages 40 and older, CBE combined with mammography may find more cancers than mammography alone. When used together at yearly check-ups, fewer breast cancers are missed. However, whereas CBE is an important complement to mammography, it is not a substitute for mammograms in women 40 and older.

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) recommends that men at higher risk of breast cancer have a clinical breast exam every six to 12 months, starting at age 35. Women who are at a higher risk of breast cancer should speak with their doctor about when and how often they should get screened.

Learn more: http://ww5.komen.org/BreastCancer/ClinicalBreastExam.html

Statement from Susan G. Komen®: Women Should Have Access to, Coverage for Mammography

Susan G. Komen® shared this statement regarding breast cancer screening:

World’s Largest Breast Cancer Organization Reiterates that Screening Should Be Based on Individual Risk and is Decision for Women and their Health Care Providers

DALLAS – Oct. 20, 2015 – The Susan G. Komen® breast cancer organization today said that all women should have access to regular mammograms when they and their health care providers decide that it is the right time for screening based on individual risk for breast cancer, and that the screening tests should be covered by third-party payers such as insurance companies and government programs.

Komen’s statement came following the release of new American Cancer Society (ACS) screening guidelines, published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). In the guidelines, ACS raised its recommended age for annual screening mammograms from 40 to 45 for women of average risk for breast cancer, with biennial mammography for women 55-74. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) also has drafted guidelines that would raise the recommended age for regular mammography to 50 for women of average risk.

“We have a great deal of respect for the ACS and the USPSTF, their expert committees and their thorough review of the scientific literature to inform the current guidelines. Although guidelines may differ regarding the age at which routine screening should begin, there is agreement that mammography is the best available tool for detecting breast cancer and that women and their health care providers should decide when those screenings should begin for individuals,” said Dr. Judy Salerno, President and CEO of Susan G. Komen.

Salerno said that the continuing debate over the timing of mammography fails to address several important issues.

“First, the medical field is moving toward determining individual needs for screening based on a woman’s risk, such as family history of breast cancer. Ultimately, women must have better and more accurate information about their individual risk for breast cancer so that they and their providers can make informed decisions about the screening schedule that is right for them. Knowledge is power,” she said. Information about breast cancer risk is available on komen.org.

“Second, it is estimated that about one-third of women who should be screened do not access these services. This means that we must take all steps necessary to ensure that women don’t face economic or other barriers when their health care providers recommend screening. It’s well established that early detection, combined with effective treatment, reduces mortality from breast cancer.”

“Third – and this is a point we’ve made often – we absolutely must continue to invest in finding screening methods that are more accurate, cost-effective, easy-to-administer, and more widely available than mammography,” Salerno said. Komen has invested more than $33 million to date into research to find better screening technology for breast cancer, such as blood and tissue tests.

The ACS recommendations are not binding on health care providers or payers, Salerno noted, “but we are concerned that they have the potential to lead to reduced accessibility to and coverage for health screenings from both private and public insurers.”

In addition to its new recommended screening ages, ACS said clinical breast exams – the manual palpation of the breast and axilla (underarm) by trained health care providers – are no longer necessary as they did not reduce mortality from breast cancer and because better screening tools, such as mammography, are available. Clinical breast exams are usually conducted during routine “well woman” doctor visits, often beginning when a woman is in her 20s.

“As a practical matter, clinical breast exams take very little time, are not invasive, and may be the only form of breast screening available, especially in rural areas and for younger women who are not at an age when regular mammography would be indicated,” Salerno said, adding that more information is needed on the efficacy of clinical breast exams.

Salerno said Komen and its scientific advisors will closely review the ACS recommendations, including mammography and clinical breast exams.

She acknowledged concerns about “overtreatment” for breast lesions or tumors that are found early but might not develop into cancer. “This is a real issue, but one that also requires education, so that women can have discussions with their health care providers about the course of cancer treatment that is right for them. And more research is needed to help determine which women may go on to have invasive cancer.  A woman cannot make a decision about treatment, however, if she hasn’t been screened.”

Komen also is investing in research that would allow health care providers to accurately differentiate between breast lesions that will become cancerous, and those that won’t.

Breast Cancer Education: Clinical Breast Exam

2015KomenNCR-NBCAMGraphicFaceookCover-GeneralA clinical breast exam (CBE) is a physical exam done by a health care provider as part of your regular medical check-up. Your provider should carefully feel your breasts and underarms for any changes or abnormalities (such as a lump). He/she should visually check your breasts while you are sitting up and physically examine your breasts while you are lying down. It is important to ask for a CBE if one is not offered at your check-up.

If you are age 20-39 years, you should have a CBE at least every three years. If you are 40 or older, have your mammogram close to the time of your CBE. In women ages 40 and older, CBE combined with mammography may find more cancers than mammography alone. When used together at yearly check-ups, fewer breast cancers are missed. However, whereas CBE is an important complement to mammography, it is not a substitute for mammograms in women 40 and older.

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) recommends that men at higher risk for breast cancer have a clinical breast exam every six to 12 months, starting at age 35. Women who are at a higher risk for breast cancer should speak with their doctor about when and how often they should get screened.

Learn more: http://ww5.komen.org/BreastCancer/ClinicalBreastExam.html

We’re celebrating National Breast Cancer Awareness Month for the next six weeks. Connect with and follow Komen St. Louis and use #Komen365 to join in the conversation.

Breast Cancer Education: Clinical Breast Exam

SGK_NBCAM_2014_EducationA clinical breast exam (CBE) is a physical exam done by a health care provider as part of your regular medical check-up. Your provider should carefully feel your breasts and underarms for any changes or abnormalities (such as a lump). He/she should visually check your breasts while you are sitting up and physically examine your breasts while you are lying down. It is important to ask for a CBE if one is not offered at your check-up.

If you are 20-39 years, have a CBE at least every three years. If you are 40 or older, have your mammogram close to the time of your CBE. In women ages 40 and older, CBE combined with mammography may find more cancers than mammography alone. When used together at yearly check-ups, fewer breast cancers are missed. However, whereas CBE is an important complement to mammography, it is not a substitute for mammograms in women 40 and older.

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) recommends that men at higher risk for breast cancer have a clinical breast exam every six to 12 months, starting at age 35.

Learn more: http://ww5.komen.org/BreastCancer/ClinicalBreastExam.html

We’re celebrating National Breast Cancer Awareness Month for the next six weeks. Connect with and follow Komen St. Louis and use the hashtag #bcjourney to join in the conversation.

Spotlight on Screening: Get Screened!

BCAM_FBcover_100613No doubt you’ve heard this statistic: Women in the United States have a 1 in 8 lifetime risk of getting breast cancer. This means that for every eight women in the U.S. who live to be age 85, one will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime. Getting regular screening tests is the best way for women to lower their risk of dying from breast cancer. Screening can find breast cancer early, when the chances of survival are highest.

Susan G. Komen® recommends the following for women at average risk for breast cancer:

  • A mammogram every year starting at age 40
  • A clinical breast exam at least every three years starting at age 20 and every year starting at age 40

Regular breast cancer screening is important for all women, but even more so for those at higher risk. If you are at higher risk of breast cancer, you may need to be screened earlier and more often than other women.

A woman is considered at higher risk if she has one factor that greatly increases her risk or several factors that together increase risk. Your health care provider may use different tools to assess your risk and help you make a personalized breast cancer screening plan.

Factors that increase breast cancer risk include:

It is important to determine your personal risk. Talk to both sides of your family about your family health history, and talk with your health care provider about your personal risk of breast cancer. Assessing your risk will help your doctor develop a personalized breast cancer screening plan for you.

If you are at higher risk, talk with your health care provider to determine which screening tests are right for you – and when they should begin. The tests may include clinical breast exams, mammograms or breast MRI.

Continue the discussion at each visit with your doctor as your family history or personal history may change over time, which may then change your screening plan.

There is not a predetermined age to stop having mammograms or clinical breast exams. As we age, women who are in good health and could benefit from treatment (if breast cancer were found) should continue to get mammograms. Breast cancer risk increases with age, and mammography does not appear to be less effective, for instance, in women age 70 and older. Women of all ages should continue to talk with their health care providers about what screening tests are right for them.

Be Aware of Breast Changes

You are the best judge of your own body and the best advocate for your health. Know what is normal for you! Be aware of the look and feel of your breasts. Regardless of your age or the date of your last screening, be sure to contact your health care provider any time you notice any of the following changes in the look or feel of your breasts:

  • Lump, hard knot or thickening inside the breast or underarm area
  • Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening of the breast
  • Change in the size or shape of the breast
  • Dimpling or puckering of the skin
  • Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple
  • Pulling in of your nipple or other parts of the breast
  • Nipple discharge that starts suddenly
  • New pain in one spot that doesn’t go away

Sign up for your screening reminder at www.komen.org/reminder.