Posts Tagged breast cancer screening

Add Breast Cancer Screening to Your New Year’s Goals

The Benefits of Breast Cancer Screening

Breast cancer screening helps detect cancer earlier, expanding treatment options and boosting survival rates.In the rush of work deadlines, responsibilities at home and all the other plates you’re spinning, taking care of your health may feel, at best, like a luxury and at worst, a hassle. In most cases, breast cancer screening is just one more thing to add to your schedule. You’re about to find out why this annual appointment should sit high on your priority list, and why YWCA St. Joseph puts it high on theirs.

Early detection is key. Sure, getting a mammogram every year takes a bit of time, but when you consider that breast cancer screening detects cancers that would be impossible to feel in a breast self-exam, it’s worth it. When you detect cancer in its early stages, you have far more options for treatment and a greater chance of survival: 93% of women whose cancer is detected early are surviving five years later.

Early detection often means that the cancer is still confined to the breast and is generally smaller. When combined with breast self-exam and a clinical exam, mammograms help increase the chances of finding a cancer early.

Breast cancer screening is recommended every year after age 40. Your doctor may recommend that you start earlier if you have a higher risk, such as a strong family history or have had radiation in the chest previously. Screening only takes about 20 minutes and causes minimal discomfort. Once you find a screening location where you feel comfortable, it’s a good idea to return each year to that facility so that your results can be easily compared.

A common reason that women avoid mammograms is a sort of head-in-the-sand fear of the screening finding something. It’s important to note that while it’s common for a mammogram to require additional testing (about 10% of mammograms require more information), only 8-10% of those will require a biopsy. Of those biopsies, 80% turn out not to be cancer. So even if your breast cancer screening comes back abnormal, it’s still unlikely to detect a cancer in further evaluation.

The ENCOREplus program: YWCA St. Joseph provides free education and breast cancer awareness to women across the region through the ENCOREplus program. The program is offered one-on-one, or to groups through community centers, churches and businesses. Participants can be referred to a breast cancer screening provider and ENCOREplus will provide transportation on the day of the mammogram if needed. Women who receive a mammogram and call the ENCOREplus office receive a free gift.

To learn more about breast cancer screening through ENCOREplus, contact us at YWCA St. Joseph.

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The Importance of Prioritizing Breast Cancer Screening

Breast Cancer Screening May Detect Tumors That Self-Exams Can’t

breast cancer screeningMany women avoid scheduling a breast cancer screening because they aren’t sure what the screening entails or they are afraid that it may be painful. The truth is that mammograms are relatively quick, usually taking just a few minutes to complete. Some women report mild discomfort during a mammogram, but the procedure is not at all invasive and there is no preparation for it.

If you need more reasons to schedule your breast cancer screening, consider these:

Early detection often makes all the difference: If you have breast cancer, your chances of surviving improve if the tumor is discovered early. You also have more treatment options if your breast cancer is detected before it grows too large or begins to spread. Women whose cancer is detected early have a 93 percent survival rate in the first five years.

Mammograms find cancer before it’s felt: A tumor that is causing symptoms or that can be felt is larger than those that can only be detected by a mammogram. This means that mammograms are critical for early detection. If you only discover a tumor once its been felt in a self-exam or a physician exam, you may limit the types of treatment options you have and your cancer may have already spread.

What’s it like to get a mammogram? While every breast cancer screening may have some variations because of the specific practices of that medical group, they are generally a uniform process.

When you arrive, you will be asked to step into a changing room and undress from the waist up. The screening center will give you a hospital gown or a robe to wear. You’ll likely be provided with a locker for your belongings or a bag where you can place your clothing. You’ll then step into the technician’s room where the mammogram machine is. You’ll be guided to the right placement to take images of your breast from both horizontal and vertical angles.

Does it hurt? There is some pressure from the mammogram, but it should not be painful or cause any lasting discomfort. Even if you are a bit uncomfortable, you’ll appreciate knowing that the screening takes very little time. Some women say that they don’t experience any discomfort at all.

When will the results arrive? This depends on the practices of your own physician, but you should receive results relatively quickly. You might ask your doctor to give you their specific test results policy so you’ll know when you can expect to hear the results of your mammogram.

Breast cancer screening can be intimidating, especially if it’s your first screening or if you have a history of breast cancer in your family.

The YWCA of St. Joseph’s ENCOREplus program provides free breast cancer prevention information and resources to women. We also help women locate financial resources for mammograms and can even provide transportation on the day of the screening. To learn more about ENCOREplus, visit our YWCA of St. Joseph website.

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Get Involved in Increasing Breast Cancer Awareness

Get Involved in Increasing Breast Cancer Awareness

Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Raises Breast Cancer Awareness and Works Toward a Cure

Among women, no cancer is more commonly faced than breast cancer. It is the number one cancer diagnosis received by women and the second deadliest form of cancer for women. For 34 years (since 1982) the Susan G. Komen foundation has been working to increase breast cancer awareness, help women receive early intervention and find a cure. For the past 22 years, Kansas City has hosted a Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure event. This year, the event will take place on Sunday, August 14.

Getting the Facts

Nearly a quarter of a million American women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year. A staggering 40,000 wives, mothers and daughters will die from the disease. Breast cancer strikes women of all ages, ethnicities and socio-economic status. And yet progress has been made.

When the Susan G. Komen foundation was begun, women who discovered their breast cancer in its early stages faced a 74 percent chance of survival. Today a woman’s chances of overcoming early stage breast cancer are close to 99 percent. This is why we are committed to raising breast cancer awareness and getting the message out that early detection is so important.

Early detection and intervention holds the key to survival rates. That means women need to understand the urgency about self-exams, mammography and treatment. If cost is an obstacle, there are resources available to open the doors to early detection. With Susan G. Komen, 74 percent of all the money raised through events like Race for the Cure stays right in the community to help women get the medical attention they need. And 100 percent of the proceeds go directly toward breast cancer awareness, treatment and research.

Getting Involved

The 2016 Race for the Cure event will be held in Kansas City. The walk will start at Kansas City’s famed Union Station. However, you don’t need to live in Kansas City to take part in this important event. St. Joseph is building its own team to send to Kansas City on Race Day. The St. Joseph Pink Warriors team will travel together via Heartland Trailways Bus to take part.

The St. Joseph YWCA works hard to boost breast cancer awareness here in town and is a proud partner in the Susan G. Komen Race for a Cure. If you would like to participate you can sign up at

You don’t have to take part in the race itself. You can also help by supporting the Pink Warrior team. This is your chance to fight back against a horrible disease. Walk on race day. Be part of the St. Joseph team. Be a sponsor. Contact the YWCA to find out other ways you can be part of ensuring that all women have access to screenings and treatment. With your help, we can win.

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Regular Breast Cancer Screening Reduces Risk for Women

Regular Breast Cancer Screening Reduces Risk for Women

How the YWCA Helps Ensure Breast Cancer Screening Takes Place

Although breast cancer does affect both men and women it is a particularly high-risk cancer for women. Close to 30 percent of new cancer diagnoses in women are breast cancer. In 2015, there were nearly a quarter million new cases of invasive breast cancer in women and over 60,000 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer. One of the best preventive measures a woman can take to protect herself against this disease is to schedule a regular breast cancer screening. Here are some additional tips to know and share:

Family History is Not the Only Clue

It is true that a woman with breast cancer in her immediate family history faces twice the risk of developing breast cancer as other women. However, that represents just 15 percent of breast cancer cases. Breast cancer also shows up in women with no family history of the disease. This means that keeping an eye on breast health is a must for all women.

Screening Has Improved (But it’s Still Dependent on a Woman Scheduling the Screening)

The good news is that clinical exams and mammography make an enormous difference in early detection. In recent years there has been a large drop in the number of breast cancer deaths in women under age 50 largely due to improved breast cancer screening and greater participation rates. Improvements for women over age 50 are also seen with regular check-ups and awareness. For women ages 40-50 with an average risk a yearly breast cancer screening is recommended. In women ages 50-70 undergoing breast screening every two years is recommended. High-risk women should begin screenings around age 30. (Note: These are general guidelines. Women should follow the screening schedules recommended by their individual health care provider).

The YWCA is Helping Women With Important Breast Cancer Resources

For some women, getting regular health care is a challenge. The cost, transportation barriers, language barriers and low information can hinder preventive breast cancer screening. This is precisely where the YWCA steps in to help. The ENCOREplus breast cancer outreach program reduces barriers that keep women from going to annual mammogram appointments. ENCOREplus provides community outreach, education, resource referral, barrier reduction, year-round events and more. We can also connect women with financial aid resources needed for regular mammogram check-ups. (When necessary, we can also help with transportation to mammogram appointments).
Last year, ENCOREplus offered services to 2,000 plus Northwest Missouri women. By giving women needed health information and supporting women’s access to appropriate health care, we help women in our area take responsibility for their own wellness and well-being. If you’ve been putting off your breast cancer screening, we encourage you to call our downtown YWCA office and find out how we can help.

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