I recently had the opportunity to sit and chat with Dr. Rebecca Obedian, MD. about the importance of mammograms, self-exams, and advancements in detection and cures for breast cancer. Here is a condensed version of our discussion.
Q1: What is the number one question regarding Breast Cancer you are asked?
A: When I unfortunately have to give bad news to someone, the most common question I get is “Will I die?”
Q2: Why do you think that is?
A: Unfortunately, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women, accounting for about 30% of new cancers in 2018, followed by lung cancer which accounts for about 13%
Q3: How do you usually answer that question?
A: Thankfully, most women I see, have early stage breast cancer, usually a stage 1.
For those who receive treatment with surgery and chemotherapy or radiation therapy, if recommended, the five-year survival rate is close to 100%
Q4: If you could give women any piece of advice regarding their breast health what would it be?
A: To please get a mammogram on a yearly/annual basis, and if they have dense breasts, then to add a screening breast sonogram to their yearly exam. Screening tests can find breast cancer early, when the chances of survival are highest.
Q5: What do you think the greatest advancement has been regarding Breast Cancer/ Breast Health has been in the last 5 years?
A: One of the greatest advancements has been the development of 3D/Tomosynthesis Mammogram. This helps create a clearer image of the breast and to help detect breast cancers.
Q6: What would you like to see happen in this area in the next 5-10 years?
A: I would like to see less invasive and painful screening exams, perhaps with no compression.