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Breast Cancer Risk and Women

Breast Cancer Ribbon

Cancer. It’s perhaps the ugliest 6-letter word in the English language. It doesn’t discriminate and the National Cancer Institute predicts an estimated 1,735,350 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States in 2018. Every year, cancer claims the lives of more than 250,000 American women. The best way to survive cancer is to find it early when it is most easily treated. According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the most common newly diagnosed cancer and is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in Michigan women. 

A breast cancer screening mammogram is an important step in detection. When it comes to screenings, many experts say there is no one answer for all women regarding when and how often, and many organizations have different recommendations. It is always a good idea to consult your healthcare provider about your risk and the best screening plan for you. 

Depending on your income, you may be eligible to enroll in the Healthy Michigan Plan (HMP) to receive cancer screening services. If you aren’t eligible for the HMP, you may qualify for a no-cost screening and follow-up care through the Michigan Breast and Cervical Cancer Program. This program provides free screening, including assistance with follow-up services, for women between 40-64 years of age who may not have insurance, have limited health insurance, or high deductibles. Income guidelines vary. If you think you, a friend, or loved one may qualify for the BCCCP program, we encourage you to contact LMAS at  906.293.5107 ext. 324 for more information. 

There are things everyone can do to help reduce your risk of getting cancer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend the following to lower your cancer risk:

  • Don’t smoke, and avoid secondhand smoke

  • Stay up-to-date on screening tests

  • Protect your skin from the sun when outside and avoid indoor tanning

  • Make healthy choices, like being active, maintaining a healthy weight, and limiting alcohol intake 

Some of these behaviors can not only lower your cancer risk but can help lower your risk for other serious diseases boosting the odds of living a long, healthy life. For the convenience of our patients, we offer extensive outpatient radiology hours. To see mammography hours or to schedule an appointment, visit the medical imaging page on our website.