RiverView invites Area Women to Fun Events in Recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month


You may already know that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but did you know that one in eight women born today in the United States will get breast cancer at some point? The good news is that many women can survive breast cancer if it’s found and treated early.

In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, RiverView Health’s Diagnostic Imaging Department invites women 21 years of age and older to “WINEd Down Wednesdays’’, two fun events to raise awareness of a serious disease.

“WINEd Down Wednesdays’’ will be held at 6:30 pm Oct. 11th and 18th in RiverView’s Diagnostic Imaging Department, Crookston. Both evenings will include appetizers, wine and painting fun with instructor Joanne Ryan. The Oct. 11th theme will be a fall canvas. Wine glasses (pink, of course) will be the Oct 18th theme. The events are free. Registration must be done in advance, as seating is limited, by calling 218-281-9745.

Breast Cancer Statistics

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, not counting some kinds of skin cancer, breast cancer in the Unites States is
     • The most common cancer in women, no matter your race or ethnicity.
     • The most common cause of death from cancer among Hispanic women.
     • The second most common cause of death from cancer among white, black, Asian/Pacific Islander and American Indian/Alaska Native women.

In 2014 (the most recent year numbers are available) 236,968 women and 2,141 men in the United States were diagnosed with breast cancer. Of those, 41,211 women and 465 men died from breast cancer.

The main factors that influence your breast cancer risk are being a woman and getting older. In the United States, the average age when women are diagnosed with breast cancer is 61. Other risk factors include
     • Changes in breast cancer-related genes (BRCA1 or BRCA2).
     • Having your first menstrual period before age 12.
     • Never giving birth, or being older when your first child is born.
     • Starting menopause after age 55.
     • Taking hormones to replace missing estrogen and progesterone in menopause for more than five years.
     • Taking oral contraceptives (birth control pills).
     • A personal history of breast cancer, dense breasts, or some other breast problems.
     • A family history of breast cancer (parent, sibling, or child).
     • Getting radiation therapy to the breast or chest.
     • Being overweight, especially after menopause.

Breast Cancer Screenings

A breast cancer screening means checking a woman’s breasts for cancer before she has any symptoms. A mammogram – an X-ray picture of the breast – is the best way to find breast cancer early, when it is easier to treat and before it is big enough to feel or cause symptoms.

According to the American Cancer Society and American College of Radiology,
     • Women in their 20s and 30s should have a clinical breast exam (CBE) as part of a regular health exam every 3 years. Starting at age 40, women should have a CBE every year.
     • Women age 40 and older should have a mammogram every year and should continue to do so for as long as they are in good health.
     • Women who are at high risk for breast cancer based on certain factors, including family history of breast or ovarian cancer, should talk with their provider about how often they should have a mammogram.

3D Mammography at RiverView Health

In 2016, RiverView Health was one of the first in the area to offer 3D mammography. This new technology allows for pictures to be taken as thin slices of the breast from different angles and computer software reconstructs the image. Breast tissue can then be examined layer by layer instead of only a flat image.

The new technology is proven to detect 41 percent more invasive breast cancers and reduce false positive results by up to 40 percent. This amounts to reduced imaging call backs and additional tests; earlier detection of small breast cancers; greater accuracy in pinpointing size, shape and location of abnormalities; and greater likelihood of detecting multiple breast tumors, which occur in 15 percent of breast cancer patients.

Early detection is the best defense against breast cancer. Successful treatment and survival rates for breast cancer patients are dramatically affected by early detection of breast cancers. If breast cancer is found early, before it has spread to lymph nodes, the five-year survival rate is almost 100 percent.

For more information on breast health or to make an appointment for a mammogram, call RiverView’s Digital Imaging Department at 218-281-9428.

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