OXNARD, Calif. -- October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Experts are urging people to get early detection to help survival rates among Americans.
October is an annual reminder to get educated and screened for breast cancer. The month is dedicated to raising awareness about early detection and treatment.
“I think it is a good way to remind women to go in and get checked,” said Dr. Srisawai Pattamakom, who is the OB/GYN at Ideal Women's Health Specialists in Ventura.
The National Breast Cancer Foundation says nearly 42,000 women are expected to die from the disease this year, but the overall death rate has decreased by 1.3 percent in recent years. The main reason is early detection. The first step is to contact a physician or OBGYN and get screened.
“Another important thing is knowing your family history is that it will dictate the age that you should come in for screening,” said Pattamakom. “The average age is between 40-44, but if you have a strong family history you might want to get screened as early has 30-35 years of age.”
The next step get a referral for a mammogram. Experts say a 3D exam is the most accurate.
Palms Imaging in Oxnard is the first facility in Ventura County to offer Abbreviated Breast MRI, the most effective screening for dense breasts. Doctors say these women have a higher risk of developing breast cancer.
“When it is small and confined to the breast then the survival is at almost 100%, but if you wait and the patients feels the lump themselves or if the doctor finds it by an exam then that means the breast cancer is at a higher stage,” said Dr. Behzad Noorbehesht, who is the medical director at Palms Imaging Center.
When the pandemic hit-- Dr. Behzad Noorbehesht noticed a decrease in people coming in. He says it's important to get numbers back up.
“Maybe the scariest mammogram would be the first one,” said Noorbehesht. “Because you don’t know what you will find, but once you’re given a negative mammogram if you come back a year later you know that we are not going to find something big. If anything it will be something small that is curable.”
Early detection is key. For more information, click here.