It seems that breast cancer efforts have had a positive among many women across the United States, as prevention and early detection played a significant role in reducing the mortality rate.
According to Dr. Joshua Garren, director of radiation at Landmark Cancer Center, medical advances were also an important factor in saving the lives of many patients, because there were fewer side-effects to powerful treatment such as radiation and chemotherapy.
He further adds that death rates have dropped off because many women have become aware that early detection is the key to fighting back cancer. When breast cancer is detected early, there are little chances that the patient will die from it.
Also, thanks to 3-D mammography, specialists were able to prevent 15 percent of unneeded breast biopsies compared to traditional 2-D mammograms. Plus, they managed to spot forty percent more cancers than before.
All these efforts aimed to reduce the life-threatening consequences of radiation. A few years ago there were many women suffering from arm swelling, but nowadays, when lymph nodes are detected early, these women don’t surgery or radiation to fight back cancer.
That is why Garren says that the number of patients suffering from arm swelling has plummeted in recent years.
Although some patients still need radiation to deal with this devastating condition, doctors are now able to spot the precise location of the cancer with 100% percent accuracy compared to how things were a few years ago, when many patients suffered the side effects of inaccurate radiation.
Therefore, specialists are trying to focus on early detection in order to deal with cancer before radiation is needed. Also, physicians benefit from high-tech CT imaging equipment with which they find out the exact location where radiation must be focused.
Before beginning the radiation treatment, doctors are using a polyurethane sheet to cover the women’s breast and protect the skin from the side-effects. It is worth mentioning that 3-D mammograms are just $50 more expensive than standard 2-D mammograms.
Experts underline that the best breast cancer detection method is a monthly breast self-exam. In addition to this, women over 40 years old should have a mammogram once at every two years, while younger women should go for a screening once a year.
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