Dr Carrie Schoonover
Dr Carrie Schoonover is currently a second-year family medicine resident at the Washington Health System. She was born and raised in Maryland before moving to eastern Pennsylvania where she graduated from Bryn Mawr College with a degree in biology and a concentration in neural and behavioral sciences. She then attended the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine on the Florida campus. She spent two years in Cleveland for clinical rotations before moving to Washington. When not in school or at work, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading and playing soccer.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which means now is a great time to review what breast cancer is and how we find it. Breast cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in women in America, after skin cancer. In the United States, 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. Although it is less common, men can also develop breast cancer. Even though there is no way to prevent breast cancer, it is very important to be proactive in detecting it early when it is easier to treat.
Although some characteristics have been associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, such as family history, the main risk factors for developing breast cancer are female sex and advanced age. Many of the symptoms of breast cancer are not noticeable. However, some of the signs include: a new lump in the breast or armpit, breast padding, change in the size or shape of the breast, breast pain, swelling of part of the breast, nipple pull or discharge from the breast. nipple (other than breast milk). If you notice any of these signs, talk to your doctor straight away.
The main method of screening for breast cancer is mammography. A mammogram uses X-rays to create images of the breast. These images are then examined and read by a radiologist to look for signs of breast cancer. Most women should start having mammograms in their forties and no later than their fifties. Women should talk to their doctor about when to start having screening mammograms. In addition, most women should have a mammogram every 1 or 2 years. Most health insurance plans cover the cost of a screening mammogram.
Your family doctor can help answer all of your questions about your risk for breast cancer. Talk to your doctor about when you should start having mammograms and how often you should have them. Encourage your family and friends to do the same and help them get the care they need.