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EARLY DETECTION MATTERS…A LOT!

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“While it’s true that breast cancer treatment has come a
long way in recent years, this should in no way deter a
woman from participating in the benefits of annual mammography,”
said Solis Mammography CEO James Polfreman.
“The fact is that cell growth replicates at a faster
rate in younger tissue. So, the younger you are, the more
important it is to find any anomaly earlier. Research and
technological advances in mammography have led to an
all-time high in survival rates from breast cancer diagnosis.
This tells us we’re on the right path, and annual mammography
is a key part of that success story.”
Four compelling reasons to begin annual mammograms
at 40
1. The numbers. According to the American Cancer
Society, 20 percent of all breast cancers are
found in women under 50. If the cancer is found
early, in what is known as stage zero or stage
one, the five-year survival rate is nearly 100 percent.
Simply stated, early detection is the closest
thing to a cure, and mastectomies are no longer
the first line of defense.
2. Women in their 40s have the most to gain.
“Today’s high-quality screenings benefit 40-yearold
women the most,” explained Dr. Rose, a radiologist
with more than 25 years in the field of
breast screening specialization, involved in several
published national studies. “Advancements
like 3-D mammography (digital breast tomosynthesis),
and breast specialization have a significant
impact on the quality of the mammography
result. Today, we know one mammogram isn’t the
same as another. It’s important to know what to
look for in your provider to ensure the most accurate
results.”
3. A chance for women to take charge of
their health. Conflicting recommendations from some
non-physician led organizations have suggested a “reasonable
trade-off” to the “fear, anxiety and stress” of a
“false positive” (otherwise known as a recall for additional
images) is to delay annual screenings for five to 10 critical
years. This advice encourages a foolhardy “Russian
Roulette” approach to monitoring breast health. It suggests
no alternative to mammography; instead suggesting
screenings be ignored entirely. The studies and clinical
evidence are clear. Early detection provides women
with the greatest opportunity for long-term survival and
quality of life through the least invasive treatment when
caught at the earliest possible stage.
4. Treatment is an option; knowledge is not. Instead
of focusing on overdiagnosis as the problem, the real
question at hand is overtreatment. With the advancement
of medicine and less invasive treatments, women have
more options for success. And in some cases, patients
may opt not to treat at all, rather to monitor changes over
time. These are discussions a woman can and should
have with her doctor AFTER getting all the facts. Avoiding
the facts is not a solution.
PEA VERSUS WALNUT: Why mammograms help with
early detection
Thinking of a pea versus a walnut, when considering
why early detection is so important. The average size of
a lump found in a woman who gets regular annual mammograms
is the size of a pea. The size of a lump found
by a woman who does only occasional self-exams is the
size of a walnut.

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