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Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Men, you need to read this too!

Jackson, Miss– October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

When you hear that it’s ‘Breast Cancer Awareness month, women may perk up and think “I need to call my gynecologist and schedule a mammogram” especially if there’s a history of breast cancer in your family. Men often take notice because a woman they love is struggling, or has struggled with breast cancer.
But did you know that men can get breast cancer as well? According to Dr. Richard Parkinson of the American College of Gynecologists, men account for slightly less than 1% of the individuals who get screened for breast cancer.. But if a man feels a lump in the area of his pecs, he should immediately make an appointment for a medical screening.
“We don’t screen men because it is not cost effective, and (because of rarity) doesn’t make sense,” said Dr. Parkinson.
Speaking of costs, though, your insurance provider should cover the cost of a mammogram, right now. A federal mandate that effectively requires insurers to cover women for mammograms will run out next year. Unless the mandate is renewed or government recommendations revised to match those of breast cancer experts, women ages 40-and over would lose guaranteed insurance coverage for annual mammograms.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, National Comprehensive Cancer Network, American College of Radiology and Society of Breast Imaging say women should begin receiving screening annually beginning at age 40.

Research shows that the incidence of breast cancer increases sharply around age 40. Mammography screening cuts the risk of dying from breast cancer nearly in half. Early breast cancer detection also enables less extensive surgery, fewer mastectomies, and less frequent or aggressive chemotherapy for any cancers found.

Doctors have agreed that the best fight against breast cancer is to be proactive. Talk to your doctor about annual screenings and self-examinations, and if you feel something out of the ordinary, no matter how small, give your doctor a call.

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