News & Events
Dr. Lo Encourages a Breast Cancer Early Detection Plan

Monday, 10 October 2011

“If all women age 40 and older had regular mammograms, plus clinical breast exams, deaths from breast cancer would drop much further,” says Nelson Lo, M.D., from St. Anthony OB/GYN Consultants. Dr. Lo, a board certified obstetrician/gynecologist says, “The key to mammography screening is that it is done routinely. Once is not enough.”

Statistics show that many women do not take advantage of the early detection methods, including:
• Women, age 65, and older, who are less likely to get mammograms than younger women, even though breast cancer risk increases with age;
• Hispanic women, who have fewer mammograms than Caucasian or African American women;
• Women below poverty level, who are less likely than women at higher incomes to have had a mammogram within the past two years.

Dr. Lo reminds all women that the best defense is to find breast cancer as early as possible. “The earlier the detection, the likelihood of a cure is excellent,” said Lo, “the best treatment results come when breast cancer is found when it is small and has not spread, making it easier to treat.”

Recommendations for following an early detection regimen include:
• A baseline mammogram at age 35 is recommended, sooner if there is a strong family history of breast cancer.
• Starting at age 40, women should have a yearly mammogram, and continue for as long as they are in good health.
• A breast exam by a physician should be part of a regular health exam and should be done regularly, at least every three years for women in the 20’s and 30’s, and every year for women 40 and older.
• Women should know how their breasts normally look and feel and report any change to their physician right away. Breast self exam is also an option for women, starting in their 20’s.

One of the earliest signs of breast cancer can be an abnormality that shows up on a mammogram, before it can be felt by self exam. Other common signs include a lump in the breast; abnormal thickening of the breast, or a change in the shape or color of the breast. Changes that could signal breast cancer are dimpling, or puckering of the skin; swelling, redness or warmth that does not go away; pulling in at the nipple or discharge, or an itchy, sore or scaly area on one nipple.

Dr. Lo encourages woman of every age to talk with their physician about early detection and family history to develop a personalized screening plan.

St. Anthony Regional Hospital & Nursing Home
311 S. Clark
Carroll, IA 51401