Ahhh being a woman. It comes with many joys and unique talents. It also comes with extra bodily issues that men rarely have to deal with. Like a monthly cycle. Or child birth. Or the fear of losing our breasts to cancer.
Some facts from the National Breast Cancer Foundation:
–One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.
–Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women.
–Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide, claiming the lives of hundreds of thousands of women each year and affecting countries at all levels of modernization.
Naturally many of us are worried that WE are the one in eight. That’s why there have been massive public information campaigns pushing early detection and treatment. Since our teens, most of us have known that turning 40 means the start of regular mammograms. We’ve also known that there’s nothing pleasant about getting one of these tests: would you offer up one of your breasts to get smashed and x-rayed for anything else? Hell no. But to prevent or detect cancer, yes. And so for years, women did.
Now new research shows that all that discomfort and radiation exposure might not be worth it. A pair of studies, one out of Harvard and one out of Canada, have found that the benefits of mammography, though real, have been oversold, while the harms have been minimized. Meanwhile, the high price tag of mammograms puts a nice chunk of change in the pockets of the insurance and medical industries.
Whether or not you choose to get a mammogram, you can (safely) help detect cancer through regular self check-ups. Read the bottom of the infographic for tips to properly self-exam.
Explore the pros versus cons for yourself in the infographic below. Then tell us: do you get regular mammograms? If you’re not yet in the target age range, do you plan to start once you reach it?
Infographic Source: BestMedicalDegrees.com
Image via Thinkstock