Many people have loved ones that have suffered from breast cancer. It’s important to be familiar with the risk factors and signs of breast cancer in order to know when to reach out to a medical professional for a screening.
Northwest Indiana Breast Care Center at the Methodist Hospital hosted a Healthy Night Out, where Jennifer Sanders, Mammogram Tech and Manager of the Northwest Indiana Breast Care Center at the Methodist Hospital, gave a presentation on breast care at St. Timothy Community Church in Gary, Ind.
There were also vendors offering massages, manicures, and more. The vendors included Wellness & Retreats, Kauffman Chiropractic, KEPT Concepts in Healing, and independent beauty consultant Dorothy J. Bradley.
Sanders explained that it’s important to be aware of family history, and know of any cancers or issues that could be inherited from the mother or father.
Some risk factors for potentially having breast cancer on top of family history is simply aging, drinking too much alcohol, and having menstruation early or having menopause late.
Participants learned some of the warning signs of breast cancer include a lump on the breast, any unnatural discharge, enlargement of lymph nodes, puckering or dimpling of the skin on the breast, discoloration, or any unusual change in the size or shape of the breast. Men can also have cysts or cancer in the breasts as well.
Sanders recommends that women come in for a baseline mammogram at 35 years old and then at begin to have yearly mammograms at 40 years old. If someone is high risk for breast cancer, like a family history, Sanders then recommends having the baseline mammogram earlier, around 30 and even younger, to be cautious.
“Get your mammogram once a year and we take a peek on the inside and try to see something before you feel it, and that’s the best way to be diagnosed with a disease. Once you feel it, we don’t know how long it’s been growing,” Sanders said.
She recommends that women do monthly breast self-examinations in order to know your body and notice if anything is wrong.
“We always recommend women doing their breast exam on a monthly basis and making sure that what was there before is there, and if there’s something new, bring it to your doctor’s attention right away.”
“The rule of thumb is that if you feel something in one spot on one breast, you should be feeling it in the exact same spot on the other breast,” Sanders said.
Sanders said that Lake County has been identified as having some of the highest late stage diagnosis mortality rate in the country.
The Breast Care Center currently has a $99 mammogram spring special through June 15.
“It’s so the cost doesn’t prevent women from having a screening that can save their life,” said Evelyn Morrison, Marketing and Corporate Communications Manager.
“Women need to know how important breast health is, and not only older women but younger women too,” said LaTanya Woodson, Community Outreach Manager for Methodist Hospital. “The more awareness we can get out to the communities, especially teenagers and young women, then they can become more aware of what’s going on with their bodies.”
Sanders encouraged people to check in on their loved ones and make sure they’re getting screenings and having mammograms done.
“Be that woman in the room that inspires that friend or your mother, your sister, your grandmother to go get their tests done,” Sanders said.
For more information, visit their website and schedule a mammogram appointment today.