More than 200,000 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed each year. Studies show one in eight women will develop breast cancer over the course of her life.
“The earlier we can catch those tumors, the better your chance of being cured of that disease and the less invasive surgery we can do,” said Dr. David Rock, breast surgeon on the medical staff of Lee Health.
Which is why, doctors say breast cancer screenings are so important.
“I have a lot of patients who are hesitant to get mammograms because they think the radiation from the mammogram itself is going to cause breast cancer. But that’s not true at all,” said Dr. Rock.
Breast surgeon Dr. David Rock explains while there is radiation in digital mammograms, the dose is very low. “It’s about the same as the natural radiation you would get from natural exposure out in the environment. We’re now using digital mammograms and the dose of radiation from that is about 50 times less than the analog mammograms we used about 15 years ago,” said Dr. Rock.
Doctors say mammograms don’t cause breast cancer, but they do help find cancer earlier. Starting at age 40 women should be screened every year. If they have a family history of breast cancer, they may need to be screened earlier.
“We can detect these cancers when they’re in the precancerous stage or the very early stage and that’s when they’re most treatable and curable,” said Dr. Rock.
If a patient is at a higher risk for developing breast cancer, doctors may recommend genetic testing and lifestyle changes. “Have a proper diet. Avoid processed foods. Maintain a healthy body weight; we know that obesity is a main cause in increasing breast cancer, especially in post-menopausal women,” said Dr. Rock.
Keeping up with you yearly mammograms can help doctors find and treat cancer early.
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Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health - Caring People. Inspiring Care.