October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and serves as reminder to get mammograms

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Dr. Magda Ghobashy, Breast Radiologist and Medical Director of Houston Methodist Breast Care Center at The Woodlands. Picture courtesy of Houston Methodist The Woodlands.

This month is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and doctors at Houston Methodist The Woodlands say it’s a reminder that one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and you need to get your screening mammogram because early detection is the key.

“40 years is the recommended age to start getting a screening mammogram. Women with a family history may start earlier,” said Dr. Magda Ghobashy, Breast Radiologist and Medical Director of Houston Methodist Breast Care Center at The Woodlands.

Ghobashy said the age range of breast cancer these days is 30’s and above. She talked about the signs to look for with breast cancer.

“If there are skin changes, nipple discharge, and pulling or tethering of the nipple or breast area,” said Ghobashy. “Once signs as these are recognized, the cancer may be more advanced that we like to see. This is why getting your annual mammogram is so important, so that we can find the cancers that are so small that they are undetectable by touch, but are seen in the mammogram.”

Ghobashy said women with gene mutations, such as the BRCA (Breast Cancer Gene) 1 or 2, along with other gene mutations, patients who have had prior chest wall radiation and women of Ashkenazi Jewish descent are more at risk of getting breast cancer.

Ghobashy said in addition to getting a mammogram, it’s also very important to do a self-exam.

“It’s important to do self-breast exams because this is how women discover changes in their breasts that result in breast cancer,” said Ghobashy. “Self-breast exams should be performed every month, the same time of the month and preferably immediately following the menstrual cycle.”

Dr. Ghobashy said their mammogram services have been available during COVID-19.

“The safety of our patients and staff is our first priority, and we are taking every precaution to keep everyone safe,” said Ghobashy. “We are screening all patients with a temperature check and exposure questionnaire, adhering to a strict essential visitor policy, wearing masks and personal equipment while providing patient care, implementing additional sanitation processes to disinfect all equipment and surfaces and redesigning waiting rooms and check-in lines to ensure social distancing.”

For more information on the Houston Methodist Breast Care Center at The Woodlands, click on the link below:

https://www.houstonmethodist.org/womens-services/locations/woodlands/breast-care-center/

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