If you’re in the habit of making New Year’s resolutions, now is the time to start thinking about them. Health and fitness are a typical source of resolutions for the new year. Here are several imaging-related resolutions you should think about that will contribute to effective breast cancer prevention and treatment, and with it, the overall improved health of your body:
- Determine your risk for breast cancer. Some women aren’t aware of the fact that they’re at a relatively high risk of developing breast cancer, a risk that can stem from many reasons, including a family history of the disease. As soon as you can in the coming year, meet with a doctor to thoroughly discuss and assess your risk of the disease.
- Get a mammogram. If you haven’t been getting mammograms regularly and you meet the criteria for one, make an appointment during the first few months of the coming year. Even if you don’t have an elevated risk of breast cancer, you should get one if you’re a woman who’s at least 40 years old. If you do have an elevated risk, then you should get one starting from a younger age.
- If necessary, get an MRI. In addition to getting mammograms, some women would benefit greatly from a breast MRI. They might need an MRI for several reasons, including having at least a 20% lifetime risk of breast cancer or having an existing cancerous or pre-cancerous growth that needs extra monitoring.
- Check up on symptoms promptly. If you notice changes in how your breasts look or feel or notice symptoms such as nipple discharges, check it out with a doctor; not every change in your breast is cancerous of course, but you’ll want to double-check anyway, especially if the symptoms are persisting or are severe. Also keep an eye out for changes to the tissue near your breasts, near your armpits for instance; if you notice things like swelling, let a doctor know.
- Keep accurate medical records. To help doctors give you the best prevention advice and the best treatments for any problems you may have, make a resolution to keep organized and thorough medical records, including results from past imaging tests.
Be sure to make breast imaging and overall breast cancer prevention an important part of your health-related New Year’s resolutions for 2014. Don’t hesitate to contact us to schedule appointments, ask questions and discuss any concerns you have.