MEDFORD, Ore. — October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
In the United States, breast cancer is the leading cause for cancer in women of all ages and races. Health officials say the two most common risk factors for breast cancer are being female and getting older.
Women over 40-years-old are urged to get mammograms every year, while women over 20 should be getting a clinical exam every year and doing monthly self-breast exams. Doctors say early detection is key.
“Sometimes it doesn’t necessarily need to be something bad sometimes it’s as easy as a cyst or something that is a benign type process so even if you feel a lump it doesn’t always mean something bad but it is necessary to talk to your health care provider and get it checked out,” said Alicia Dabroski, a mammogramographer at Asante Women’s Imaging Center.
There are six stages in cancer ranging from stage zero to five. Doctors say treatment for breast cancer in its early stages can be as simple as removing the malignant lump, but in its late stages chemotherapy and radiation is required.