Breast Cancer - Get Checked! Early Detection Saves Lives

Jun 18, 2019

By Barret Procyshyn, Family Pharmacist at Dauphin Clinic Pharmacy

It is safe to say we have all seen Breast Cancer affect the lives of someone we know. Starting June 19 and running through to July 10, the mobile breast check unit will be returning to the Dauphin Clinic Pharmacy parking lot. This huge bus, which is painted pink cannot be missed. You can make an appointment by calling 1-855-95-CHECK. You do not need a doctor's referral to get checked.

If you are listening and are a female between the ages of 50 and 74 you should have a screening mammogram every 2 years. If you are a male and think you can stop listening - you are wrong. Check in with a loved one or friend in this age group and see when the last time they got checked was. Having regular bi-annual screening can save your life. Cancer Care reports, it can reduce deaths by 20-30%.

Regular screening mammograms can find breast cancer early and this reduces your risk of dying from breast cancer. A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast tissue providing images which can be examined for cancerous cells. The process takes around 20 minutes and will only cause some minor discomfort if any at all. Manitoba Health reports that results will be available within 2 weeks after the mammogram and are listed as normal or abnormal. It is importantly to note that just because the results came back abnormal, it does not mean you have breast cancer. Five out of every 100 people tested will have to get more follow up, which is no doubt going to cause some anxiety and worry. One of these 5 will unfortunately be diagnosed, hopefully its early.

Cancer develops when your body grows too many cells a specific area of the body and a mass form. Unfortunately, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in Canadian women. Around 80% of breast cancer occurs in females aged 50 and older. Aside from a mammogram detecting breast cancer is not easy. You should see a doctor if you notice any type of lump or unusual mass in the breast, as well as any changes in the breasts shape or size. Dimpling or puckering of the skin, redness without pain, an nipple that turns inward and crusting or scaling of the nipple should warrant medical attention.

Unfortunately, approximately 900 Manitobans are diagnosed with breast cancer annually and around 200 will die from the disease this year alone. As technology and treatment advances are made catching the breast cancer early will leave more options and a much better chance at a cure. If it incorrect to think a doctor's physical exam can replace a mammogram. In fact, mammograms can catch the disease up to 3 years before it can actually be felt by a doctor.


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