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Spread the word – mammograms save lives.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. You might be asking yourself, what can I do to help this important cause? Many things. But perhaps most important of all – make sure you and all your loved ones stay up to date with your mammograms.

Why are they so important?

Mammograms are X-rays of the breast – and they truly save lives. They detect cancer and other issues early, when they’re easiest to treat. According to a study funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), women who stay up to date on their mammograms have a significantly lower risk of dying of breast cancer if they end up getting the disease. In fact, even missing one mammogram can raise your chances of death. We don’t want to scare you – but this information is key for spreading the word about how important these screenings are.

Who should get mammograms – and how often?

According to the ACS, women age 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year, while those 55 and older can switch to every two years or continue yearly screenings. Women at higher risk of breast cancer should start getting mammograms before age 45. You can reach out to your doctor for more specifics.

Spread the word.

This article really has two messages. First, get your regular mammograms. Second, make sure your loved ones do too. For various reasons, many women skip their mammograms on certain years – or never get them altogether. Both can be harmful. Be open and talk with your loved ones, reminding them to stay up to date on these important screenings. Here are some tips and conversation starters:

Perhaps the best advice of all? Simply speak from the heart. Tell them how much you love them and care about them. This month and beyond, spread the word – your voice can truly save lives.

To learn more about breast cancer – and the importance of mammograms – check out these links: