October is Breast Cancer Awareness MonthOctober 07, 2016
Breast cancer is very treatable, but early detection is key. Women are encouraged to take charge of their breast health by knowing about their risk factors for breast cancer, participating in screening mammography when recommended by their provider and following up on any abnormal tests. At BMC, our multidisciplinary team of specialists come together to diagnose, treat, and support each patient throughout her entire cancer care journey.
On Tuesday, October 25, providers and clinical staff from BMC’s Belkin Breast Health Center and Women’s Health Unit will be available to speak with visitors and patients interested in learning more about breast health from 5:00 to 7:00PM. This free event will be held in the Moakley Building Lobby located at 830 Harrison Ave. and is open to anyone. Educational and informational materials as well as light refreshments will be available.
The event will provide information on breast cancer risk, recommended screening, and dense breasts.
Researchers at BMC have been doing studies about communication around dense breasts and will be present to discuss their findings and answer questions. Women are learning more about breast density these days because it’s now state law that they are notified by a written letter if they have dense breasts on their mammogram. Amy Fitzpatrick, MD, of BMC’s Belkin Breast Health Center points out that having dense breasts is normal, about 1 in 2 women having a mammogram will be informed that they indeed have dense breasts. It’s important for women with dense breasts to understand that they may have an increased risk of getting breast cancer, and that cancer is more difficult to detect on a mammogram when there is dense breast tissue. Therefore, women with dense breasts are encouraged to talk with their providers about how they should be monitored.
“The most important thing a woman can do after she is told she has dense breasts is to discuss her risk with her primary care doctor or breast health provider,” explains Dr. Fitzpatrick. “There is no conclusion on what additional testing women with dense breasts should have, if any, but we recommend that if they have an increased risk of breast cancer, such as a family history of breast cancer, then they may benefit from additional imaging such as a breast MRI.”
BMC is committed to helping you understand what it means to have dense breasts and what you can do to ensure you are screened properly. To learn more about BMC’s Belkin Breast Health Center, or schedule your annual mammogram, please visit the Belkin Breast Health Center website or call 617.638.2778.