Fairbanks doctors remind public about Breast Cancer Awareness Month

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, each year in the United States, more than 245,000 women get breast cancer and more than 40,000 women die from the disease. (Photo: Storyblocks Enterprise)
By  | 

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, each year in the United States, more than 245,000 women get breast cancer and more than 40,000 women die from the disease.

Jessica Panko is a General Diagnostic Radiologist at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital and explained a common misconception about breast cancer.

"Breast cancer is not rare. It's actually quite common and it comes in all different varieties from very mild and almost like a chronic process, to very aggressive tumors that need immediate attention," said Panko.

Most breast cancer is found in women 50 years or older according to the CDC, but Panko explained that breast cancer found in younger women can be more aggressive.

"1 in 8 women gets breast cancer. And I'm, sure that pretty much everyone listening to us talking right now knows someone who has had breast cancer," said Panko.

Breast cancer is usually characterized by a lump in the breast or near the underarm, however it is possible for someone to have breast cancer and not show any symptoms, making mammograms, with their advanced 3D imaging very important to the detection of this disease.

Teresa Kiernan, a Radiologic Technologist at FMH explained just how important yearly mammograms are.

"It's extremely important you know, early detection is the best for prognosis and what we're looking for are things that you cannot feel. In fact, we want to see it before you ever even feel it. And the best way to do that is to have your mammogram done each and every year from the age 40 on," said Kiernan.

According to the CDC, methods to reduce the risks of breast cancer include eating a healthy diet, exercise and limiting alcohol consumption. However yearly checks are the only way that anyone can make sure they don't have the most common cancer among women.

Copyright 2019 KXDF. All rights reserved.