Founded in 1985, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM)
is celebrated each October with a mission of educating the public about the
causes, risks, prevention and detection of breast cancer. With one in eight
women developing invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime and more than
330,000 new cases being diagnosed every year, it has never been more important
to bring attention to breast health. Interestingly, BCAM often assists in lifting
the fear of the unknown about breast cancer and opens the door for many frank conversations
about the topic. In addition,
BCAM has been shown to increase search level activity related to
breast cancer awareness.
At iCAD, we honor
BCAM as well and aim to empower women to learn about how to maintain their
overall breast health – not just during October, but year-round. As such, there
are three things women should know in order to help reduce their potential
risks of breast cancer and improve their overall breast health.
- Perform regular self-exams and research your
family background – Performing self-exams is the first step in early
detection. Women should check their breasts monthly for any abnormalities while in the shower, in front of a mirror or
lying down. In addition to self-exams, it’s also important for women to speak
with family members about their health history, as breast cancer can be hereditary and often times runs in the family.
- Get your annual mammogram – For almost 60
years, mammograms have been used to detect breast cancer. For some time, physicians have relied on 2D mammograms (once
considered the gold standard for detection of breast cancer), which only
produce four images of the breast: two from top to bottom and two from side to
side. This type of screening has numerous shortcomings, including showing
overlapping normal breast tissue as potential areas of concern. Today,
however, 3D mammograms, also known as digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT), are more commonly used for screening. 3D mammograms
allow radiologists to view hundreds of images of the breast from many different
angles, which provides more detail about breast tissue and greater clarity in
- Understand your breast density – One
aspect of breast health that is not as widely discussed – but it should be- is
breast density. Dense breasts can often be harder for radiologists to examine,
and women with denser tissue can be six times more likely to develop breast cancer. In short, density is a measure used for
mammogram image descriptions, which compares the area of the breast and
connective tissue to areas of fat. When getting your annual mammogram, it is
important to ask your doctor or clinician whether or not you have dense breasts,
as not every state has laws in place requiring women to be notified about their breast density.
All in all, this BCAM we hope women serve as their own breast
health advocate and also start asking questions about their breast cancer
risks. In addition, we encourage all women to take the steps necessary to
ensure they are receiving the proper care they need. And remember – two-thirds of women have the potential to be saved through early detection and
If you would like more information on breast
cancer prevention and detection, contact a member of our team
today and be sure to follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter for more personal health and breast news.
iCAD is a global medical technology leader providing innovative cancer detection and therapy solutions. We work passionately to provide precise, powerful healthcare solutions expertly engineered to optimize operational efficiency, clinician confidence and patient outcomes. iCAD offers a comprehensive range of artificial intelligence and workflow solutions to support rapid and accurate detection of breast and colorectal cancers. For more information, visitor .