Faith Regional educates public about screenings and prevention for Breast Cancer Awareness Month
NORFOLK, Neb. -- October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and while the month is coming to a close, one hospital in northeast Nebraska is helping educate the public about the topic.
Faith Regional Health Services in Norfolk is raising awareness on how patients should go about seeking screening and treatment for breast cancer.
Dr. Kinzie Norris, a breast surgical oncologist with Faith Regional, said the first step in screening for breast cancer is getting a mammogram.
"A mammogram is our most detailed or most widely used screening tool," Norris said. "It finds and covers over 90% of breast cancers. It's very good as a screening tool, it's not invasive. The reason that we do the screening is because of course it won't prevent you from getting breast cancer but it can find it early."
Women are suggested to get a mammogram annually after turning 40 years old.
According to Breastcancer.org, an estimated 287,850 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S. this year.
Norris said that if something is found during the mammogram, patients will meet with a radiologist who will want to either take more images or take a biopsy.
She also touched on simple changes that can help prevent breast cancer in women and men.
"Maintaining a healthy weight, also eating a Mediterranean diet, which is more white meats, fish, and fresh fruit and vegetables," Norris said. "Avoiding smoking and limit alcohol intake to averaging less than a drink per week."
Norris told News Channel Nebraska the guidelines for people who have had family members with breast cancer.
"If you have a family history, they'll calculate your lifetime risk of breast cancer," Norris said. "And if you fall above 20% for your lifetime risk then there are additional studies and screening modalities that are indicated. So, instead of just doing a mammogram once a year, you do a breast MRI as well."
She added that people who have a family history of breast cancer should begin to get mammograms at the age of 30 and breast exams every six months starting in their 20s.