Chronic Illness And Keeping Up With Breast Cancer Screenings, Part 2

3d mammography

In part one of our chronic illness and breast cancer series, we talked about a recent study that showed women with chronic health conditions were less likely to undergo regular breast cancer screening.

Here, in part two, we’ll dive deeper into why that is. We’ll also talk about why 3D mammography screenings are crucial whether you have one or more chronic health conditions or none at all.

Why do women with chronic illness choose not to follow-up?

Patients living with a chronic condition aren’t just living with the condition itself. They’re also living with the medications needed to treat the condition, the side effects of that medication, and the side effects of the condition.

When a patient has more than one chronic condition, the medications they’re taking can interact in a way that would make a breast cancer diagnosis nerve-wracking.

For instance, a patient without a chronic condition could be treated with chemotherapy if they had breast cancer. A patient with a chronic condition, or more than one, may have limited treatment options because of how their current conditions are already impacting their body.

Why is it still important to undergo breast cancer screening?

The average woman living in the U.S. has a one-in-eight lifetime risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer. Of all the age groups, women between the ages of 60 and 69 can benefit the most from routine 3D mammography screening.

A recent mammography study published in the journal of the American Cancer Society found that women who receive annual breast cancer screenings have a lower mortality rate and benefit more from therapy after receiving a breast cancer diagnosis.

Researchers analyzed data from more than 52,000 women over a 40-year period between 1977 and 2015. They calculated the overall annual incidences of breast cancer, incidences of breast cancer-related mortality after 10 years, and mortality within 11 to 20 years.

Researchers found that women who participated in a breast cancer screening program have a 60% lower mortality risk within 10 years of being diagnosed with breast cancer. Women also had a 47% lower mortality risk within 20 years of their diagnosis.

These aren’t insignificant numbers.

Although women with chronic health conditions may need to undergo different breast cancer treatments if diagnosed, it’s still worth it to undergo routine 3D mammography screenings. To learn more about 3D mammography screenings or to schedule your own breast cancer screening, contact us today.

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