AUSTIN (KXAN) — October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and according to health officials, 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.
This year, two new guidelines were issued in hopes of detecting breast cancer early.
“Breast cancer is the most common cancer that is detected in women, it doesn’t matter if you don’t have risk factors for breast cancer, just being a woman is enough of a risk factor,” said breast surgeon Dr. Ingrid Lizarraga.
“And we know that the survival for breast cancer is much better when it is detected early.”
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) now recommends women at average risk of developing breast cancer get a regular mammogram starting at age 40 instead of 50.
“However, I do think it’s important for women to understand that your personal risk of breast cancer may require you to start screening earlier depending on your family history,” said Lizarraga.
As a member of the American College of Surgeons, she urges the importance of talking to your doctor “so that you can understand what your risk is and know when is the best time to start screening for you.”
Starting next year, a new FDA ruling requires all breast centers must notify women of their breast density in their mammogram report.
“Women who have more fibrous tissue and glandular tissue have more dense breasts. That is harder to see through to find the abnormalities and so it might be easier for a mammogram to miss detecting cancer,” said Dr. Lizaragga when asked why it’s important women know their breast density.
“Women with dense breasts may perhaps need to do other types of detection studies in order to be sure that they’re getting the best screening possible.”