HEALTH

The importance of breast cancer screening

Oct 23, 2023, 6:01 PM | Updated: 7:50 pm

Mammogram technician Niki Keene, right,  demonstrates a mammogram on Kathy Dalton as Optum Care Net...

Mammogram technician Niki Keene, right, demonstrates a mammogram on Kathy Dalton as Optum Care Network Utah conducted an open house to introduce a new mobile clinic in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, June 23, 2021. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a good reminder for women to schedule their annual mammogram – even if they’re healthy (Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News)

(Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a good reminder for women to schedule their annual mammogram – even if they’re healthy, according to a local OBGYN.

Doctor Kylie Soffe with South Valley Women’s Health said breast cancer takes the lives of about 40,000 women in the United States every year. While this is down significantly from what it was 50 years ago, now doctors are seeing more cases of cancer.

“There’s more incidents of breast cancer, but the deaths from it have gone down,” she said. “A lot of that is due to screening mammograms. Obviously, there are advancements in medicine that help with treatment … but, catching it early is huge.”

If a woman notices a lump on her breast or any other kind of concern, Soffe recommends that she reach out to her doctor.

“If there is a concern, they would need a diagnostic mammogram, which is a little bit different from a screening mammogram,” Soffe said. 

In general, according to Soffe, women should begin getting mammograms when they’re between 40 and 50. And, they should get them every one or two years.

“Screening mammograms significantly reduce the risk of mortality from breast cancer and also later stages of breast cancer,” she said.

However, Soffe said some organizations are now recommending starting in your early 40s and getting exams every year.

Of course, there are things like risk factors that would cause a woman to get screened earlier and more often, and that’s why it’s a conversation women should be having with their healthcare provider.

Devin Oldroyd contributed to this story.

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The importance of breast cancer screening