Buddy Check 7: Study shows need for custom mammogram schedule - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Buddy Check 7: Study shows need for custom mammogram schedule

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

At KWWL, we take the 7th of each month for a "Buddy Check Seven" report all aimed at catching breast cancer early for a successful treatment. 

Mammograms are a key tool in detecting cancer and setting a course of treatment.  A new study suggests every woman should have a custom schedule for getting these important screenings.

"Mammograms are invaluable," said Jeanne Rothamel, patient specialist at the Cedar Valley Cancer Center's Breast Care Center.

Rothamel knows that both as a nurse at the Breast Care Center and as a breast cancer survivor.  There's been some confusion in recent years about just how often women should get a mammogram.  But the Breast Care Center still believes it's best for every woman over 40 to undergo the test once a year.

A new study done by researchers at California Pacific Medical Center also suggests women should have a customized mammogram schedule based on their own medical background.  That background includes breast density.  Previous studies have shown women with more dense breasts may be more prone to getting cancer.  It also includes women with a strong family history of breast cancer.

"That would be primarily someone with a first degree relative who has had breast cancer.  A first degree would be a mother, sister, daughter sort of range," Rothamel said.

If you fit those criteria, experts suggest you may need to start breast screenings earlier and possibly have them more often.  That includes mammograms and self exams.  Both are tools that can help catch cancer early, before it has a chance to spread.

Use this Buddy Check Seven as a chance to remind a friend to stay up to date with regular exams.  Of course, early detection is key to a quick recovery.

 

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