Tips from Dr. Briana Peddle on keeping on top
of your breast Health
Our lovely client and my personal Naturopathic Doctor, Dr. Briana Peddle has kindly shared this information to help our community learn all about breast health and how to keep on top of yours. Thank you Dr. Peddle for sharing this important information with the Mateus Studios community!
As a business who cares about women’s bodies we wanted to bring this information to you to empower you with knowledge. While we are here to create boudoir and intimate portraits for you, we also want to ensure our community is healthy and part of that health is taking care of our bodies. There is a lot of information here, so take your time to read through it all, as this information could save a life.
What is a mammogram?
Mammograms are x-rays of the breasts completed in privacy by a specially-trained female technologist. A screening mammogram consists of four images (two of each breast) that look for hidden cancer in those who are healthy (no symptoms) and have never had breast cancer.
When to get a mammogram
- Age 40-74 with a first degree relative (mother, sister daughter) with breast cancer: yearly
- Age 40-49 without a family history of breast cancer: discuss the benefits and risks of screening mammography with
your care provider to determine if screening is right for you. If you choose to screen, it is available every 2 years
- Age 50-74 without a family history of breast cancer: every 2 years 75+: discuss the benefits and risks of screening mammography with your care provider to determine if screening is right for you
- 75+: discuss the benefits and risks of screening mammography with your care provider to determine if screening is
right for you. If you choose to screen, it is available every 2-3 years
If you are high risk for breast cancer
Screening mammograms are recommended every year if you are between 30-74 and at least one of the following
applies to you:
- You are a BRCA1 or BRCA2 carrier
- You are an untested first degree relative of BRCA1 or BRCA 2 carrier
- You have a very strong family history of breast cancer
- You have had prior chest wall radiation
You are not eligible for a screening mammogram if you:
- Have breast implants (see your health care provider to arrange a mammogram)
- Are pregnant or breastfeeding (you can use the Breast Screening program three months after completely finishing breastfeeding; see your health care provider immediately if you experience any new problems)
- Have a previous history of breast cancer
- Have any new breast complaints such as a lump or nipple discharge (see your health care provider immediately if you experience any new problems)
- Have had a mammogram on both breasts in the last 12 months (you must wait at least one year before having another screening mammogram)
Breast Cancer in LGBTQ Populations
Studies show lesbians and bisexual women have higher rates of breast cancer than heterosexual women. LGBTQ people in general are less likely to be regularly screened for breast cancer which may increase risk. Discrimination and
negative experiences with healthcare providers can be a barrier to accessing health screening. Not enough research
has been done to know whether trans people get cancer more than non-trans people. Breast cancer risk increases with exposure to the hormones estrogen and progestin. Taking estrogen or estrogen-progestin combinations increases your risk of breast cancer.
Benefits of Mammograms
Mammograms save lives Finding cancer early means that it is less likely to have spread and treatment can be started earlier in the course of the disease. Approximately in their lifetime and 1 in 28 women is expected to die from the disease. Mammograms are effective Screening mammograms are the best method for detecting breast cancer early. Mammograms can usually find lumps two or three years before you or your doctor can feel them. Research has shown a greater than 25 per cent reduction in deaths from breast cancer among those who regularly screen. Your breast cancer risk increases with age While those with a family history of breast cancer have a higher-than-average risk, the most significant risk factor for breast cancer is being a woman over 50 years of age.Over 80 percent of new breast cancers diagnosed each year in BC are in women age 50 or older.
Limitations of Mammograms
Mammograms are not perfect Not all breasts look the same on a mammogram – age and/or breast density can make cancers more or less difficult to see. In general, screening mammograms are less effective in those who are younger because they tend to have denser breast tissue. Mammograms do not detect all cancers Some cancers cannot be detected on a mammogram due to the location of the cancer or the density of the breast tissue.
About 25 percent of cancers in women ages 40-49 are not detectable by a screening mammogram, compared with about 10 percent in women older than 50. Mammograms may lead to additional testing On average, 9 percent of women screened through BC Cancer Breast Screening will require additional testing to look more closely at a specific area of the breast. This does not mean that a cancer was found – over 95 percent of patients recalled for additional testing do not have cancer. False positives?? Age ranges?? Mammograms use low doses of radiation The benefits of regular mammograms outweigh the risks posed by the small amount of radiation you are exposed to.
Instead of doing a monthly breast self-examination (BSE), BC Cancer recommends you be ‘breast aware’. In other words, know what your breasts normally look and feel like at different times of the month. Breasts can change during your menstrual cycle (your period), if you are taking contraceptives (the Pill) or hormone replacement therapy (HRT), or are in menopause (ending of your periods). Being ‘breast aware’ will help you notice unusual changes right away – like a lump or nipple discharge.
Taking care of your breasts
Thank you Dr. Briana Peddle for sharing this important information with our community.If you have further questions you can connect with Dr. Peddle through her website: https://www.drpeddle.com/
Or consult your family doctor. Whatever you do do, make sure you always get your boobies checked!
CLICK HERE to find a screening clinic near you.
I Look Forward To Having
You In My Vancouver Boudoir
And Portrait Studio!
Michele Mateus is an award winning Vancouver Boudoir and Women’s Portrait Photographer. Serving Coquitlam, Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Langley, Abbotsford, Squamish, Burnaby, Surrey, North Vancouver, West Vancouver, New Westminster and the Great Vancouver area.