St. David's HealthCare October 24, 2014

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women, exceeded only by lung cancer. Statistics indicate that one in eight women will develop breast cancer sometime in her lifetime. The stage at which breast cancer is detected influences a woman’s chance of survival. If detected early, the five-year survival rate is 98 percent.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and physicians and staff at St. David’s HealthCare are encouraging women to practice breast self awareness in hopes of increasing early detection.

  • Know your risk – Talk to both sides of your family to learn about your family health history, and consult your doctor about your personal risk of breast cancer.
  • Get screened – Talk with your doctor about recommended screening tests if you are high-risk, and get a mammogram every year beginning at the age of 40 for most women. Women under 40 years should have a clinical breast exam at least every three years, beginning at age 20.
  • Know what is normal for you – Consult with your doctor if you begin to notice abnormal changes in your breasts.

Last year, The Breast Center at St. David’s Medical Center became the first facility in Austin to offer three-dimensional (3-D) mammography, also known as breast tomosynthesis, for breast cancer screening and diagnosis. With 3-D mammography, physicians can see breast tissue in greater detail than ever before, significantly increasing cancer detection while simultaneously reducing the number of false positives. To schedule a mammogram and/or to learn more about the importance of breast cancer screenings, please contact The Breast Center at St. David’s Medical Center at (512) 544-8800 or the Women’s Center of Texas at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center at (512) 901-1050.

To commemorate National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Women’s Center of Texas recently held a balloon release ceremony to honor patients and survivors. White balloons were released to honor patients who have lost their lives to breast cancer, and pink balloons were released to celebrate the lives of those who have survived.