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Mayo weighs in on prevention, screenings ahead of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 5:04 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 21, 2021 at 7:15 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. As we close out September, Mayo Clinic Health System is getting a head start on sharing what you need to know to stay healthy.

More than one in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. Luckily, there are ways for women to know more about their risk of getting the disease based on family and past medical history.

Though hereditary factors can’t be changed, doctors say women can lower their risk by making lifestyle changes like eating well and staying active.

Dr. Jennifer Johnson, a Family Medicine Physician at Mayo Clinic Health System, recommends talking with your doctor about what steps you can take. She said, “Just like a lot of things in medicine, we know each individual is different and has different risk factors. Your provider can really help you walk through what your risk is and what you can help do to minimize that.”

Early detection increases the odds of surviving breast cancer. Dr. Johnson said being vigilant about annual checkups is key, and 3D imaging is now available to give more accurate screenings.

“While that machine is taking images, they’re doing the traditional 2D, or flat mammogram, but it’s also obtaining 3D images which really allows our radiology team to look more closely. They can often detect breast cancers early, especially in dense breasts. The other thing that we’re finding is this really helps reduce the amount of callbacks, which we know creates a lot of anxiety for patients,” Dr. Johnson explained.

Patients can schedule mammogram appointments through Mayo Clinic Health System’s Patient Online Services.

Tune in to KEYC Tuesdays for more on Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

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