The importance of early screening for cancer is often very underestimated. Early screening for cancer means catching the disease before it progresses and increases the chances of surviving the cancer. People can use a few different methods to try to catch cancer early including self breast exams. More importantly, though, people need to have mammograms, ultrasounds and MRI screenings as well.
The best way to remember to do your breast self exam every month is to choose a date and do the exam monthly on that date. The best time for this early screening to be done is about a week before you start your period.
Women should go to their gynecologist yearly and have their doctor examine their breasts and their underarms to check for any signs of cancer. This illustrates the importance of early screening because not all cases of breast cancer are caught on mammograms.
Mammograms are the most commonly used tool by those who understand the importance of early screening. Mammograms find the cancerous cells in about 90% of the cases that are examined. It is not a fun procedure but it is well worth the inconvenience.
An ultrasound is used to further explore a possible problem that has shown up during a mammogram. The ultrasound lets the doctors see deeper and clearer so they can find things that may have been missed on the mammogram.
MRIs are done when there is an abnormality that needs to be examined up close. The MRI in these cases is focused on the area of concern and the area around the lump or other problem. MRIs are often used if the doctor thinks that there is some swelling in the underarm area that concerns him. MRIs are also used when a biopsy indicates cancerous cells that do not show up on the mammogram.
If you have relatives that have had breast cancer, you are more likely to develop it so you really need to understand the importance of early screening. The importance of early screening for cancer is that the earlier it is caught, the more successfully it can be treated. The screenings can find things that you could not see with the naked eye.