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Sunday, October 1, 2023 3:28PM
CHICAGO (WLS) — October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Here are the statistics women need to know: 1 in 8 American women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. It accounts for about one in three new cancer cases in women each year.
The American Cancer Society estimates that this year, breast cancer will kill more than 43-thousand women in this country.
Dr. Deepa Sheth is a breast radiologist with Loyola University Health Systems.
She has this message for women: “These are women that don’t have a personal history of any breast cancer, any family history of breast cancer or any known genetic mutations. You know, we really try to spread the message about women and getting their mammogram every year. And we start recommending them starting at the age of 40 every single year.”
And when they get those mammograms, there’s a term they will hear about. It’s breast density.
“And it’s not something that I can see or I can do a physical exam on and know your breast density,” said Dr. Sheth, “I wouldn’t know that unless I did a mammogram on you. And it’s so important because we know that breast density is now it’s own, independent risk factor for breast cancer. And as of May of this year, the FDA has now mandated that every female needs to know their breast density.” That means mammogram facilities must provide that information to patients.
In July of 2022, Lucie Duffy was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was under the age of 40 and didn’t have any risk factors.
“In 2021, a really close girlfriend of mine, one of her best friends was diagnosed with breast cancer,” Duffy said. “She has two children, she felt a lump, she was 37 and she encouraged everyone at the end of 2021 to make sure that we got screened. And her story stuck with me that when I met with my primary care doctor in February of 2022 I asked for a mammogram.”
She didn’t get an appointment until July. That’s when she learned she had breast cancer.
“There’s no why unfortunately,” Duffy said. “This is something that we’re going to keep seeing more of. I’m not the exception to the rule.”
Duffy was officially cancer-free in December 2022. She takes daily medications and has screenings every six months to make sure she’s okay.
For more information on the upcoming Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk: https://secure.acsevents.org/site/STR?pg=entry&fr_id=105583
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