Women are a busy group of caregivers. Remembering to schedule doctor, dental and other appointments is easy when it’s for their spouses or kids, but studies show that many women don’t make their own health a priority.
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a time to address the importance of getting regular screenings for breast cancer.
NCH “screened” six local women to ask how they remember to get their annual mammogram. Here’s what they had to say:
- Beverly, 51: “I put it on my phone calendar so it reminds me.”
- Mary, 55: “I get an annual breast screening on my birthday every year. That way, I never forget.”
- Stefanie, 52: “I make my appointment sometime in October. I’m reminded because it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month.”
- Karen, 64: “I schedule it right along with my annual exam with my gynecologist.”
- Randi, 61: “I receive a reminder letter from my gynecologist and I put that letter in with my bills so that when I pay them, I’m reminded to make an appointment for my mammogram.”
- Beth, 66: “I check the date of my last mammogram in NCH’s MyChart and that way I know when to make the next appointment.”
For those at average risk:
If you’re between the ages of 40 – 44, the American Cancer Society (ACS) states that women can start their annual breast cancer screening with mammograms if they wish to do so. For women ages 45 – 54, the ACS recommends yearly mammograms. Women 55 and older should get a screening every two years, or opt to continue yearly screening.
Between mammograms, remember to perform monthly self-exams to detect lumps or changes in breast tissue such as color, texture, shape or size. Call your doctor if you have redness, warmth, swelling, pain, discharge from nipples other than breast milk, itchiness, scaly sores or a rash.
If you have a family history of breast cancer, or any other risk factors for breast cancer, talk to your physician about how often to screen.
NCH offers four convenient screening locations in Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove and Schaumburg, with a fifth location coming to Kildeer in January. Our award-winning Breast Center uses 3D mammography as a standard of care with same-day results. Automated Breast Ultrasound Screenings (ABUS) can additionally look for tumors in dense breast tissue.
Schedule your mammogram today. Call 847-618-3700.