Breast Cancer Survivor Sheryl Crow Speaks Out About the Importance of Breast Cancer Screening
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Grammy award-winning artist and breast cancer survivor Sheryl Crow is lending her voice to help educate women on why they need to make screening a priority.
While most women are aware that family history plays a large part in whether or not a woman will develop breast cancer, a recent survey by Hologic, the company behind the GeniusTM 3D MammographyTM exam, found that only one third of women across the United States are aware that the density of a woman’s breasts impacts their risk of developing breast cancer. Not only are women with dense breasts more likely to develop breast cancer, but density also makes screening for the disease more challenging, as dense breast tissue appears white on a mammogram – and so does cancer.
Sheryl and Dr. DaCarla Albright, a leading OB/GYN, joined EverydayFamily's Shiloh Johnson to discuss what every woman needs to know when it comes to breast cancer screening. See the full interview here:
Sheryl told us her story. “I was diagnosed 12 years ago, so every year that goes by I feel very celebratory. I was diagnosed on a conventional mammography machine. I have dense breasts, and 12 years ago that wasn’t part of the discussion. But now we know that there’s a risk associated with having dense breasts.” Sheryl explained that she is diligent about getting her screenings every year, sometimes every 6 months. She added,
“Don’t put it off! Until there is a cure, early detection is our best weapon.”
So wait, what exactly are dense breasts? What can we do? What should we look out for? What do we need to know about dense breasts? Why is that information important when getting a breast cancer screening?
Dr. Albright told us more about this issue. “I’m so happy we’re talking about this. Our breasts are comprised of fatty tissue, fibrous tissue, and glandular tissue. And the more fibrous and glandular tissue you have, the more dense your breasts are. The only way to know if you have dense breasts is to get screened with a mammogram. It’s important to get the mammogram and then to follow up with your specialist or doctor about the amount of density you have.”
Dr. Albright explained, “Density appears white on a mammogram, and so does cancer. That’s why extreme density can make it difficult to detect cancer in a routine screening mammogram. 3D technology has come a long way to improve that cancer detection at an earlier state. That’s why it’s important to start talking about this so that more women are aware when they get screened.”
So, are 3D screenings standard these days?
Dr. Albright told us, “They should be the standard. But they are not the standard everywhere. What we are encouraging is that 3D mammography is the best screening technology out there, regardless of your breast denseness. If you can, go straight to a 3D mammogram for your screening.”
Sheryl chimed in. “Again, until we have a cure, early detection is the best option. It can be the difference between minimal treatment or something much more challenging. Knowledge is power. Go to our website Genius 3D Near Me. There’s a wealth of information on there about breast cancer and you can find the closest 3D machine for your screening.”
Stay safe out there ladies, and make sure you talk to your physician about your breast cancer screening options.