VNA Health Care Discusses the Importance of Mammography and Cervical Cancer Screenings

·3 min read

CHICAGO, June 30, 2022--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Each year more than 260,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer. Similarly, each year over 14,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer. These statistics highlight the growing need for early detection and intervention.

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The importance of well-woman exams and other routine screenings for women's health (Photo: Business Wire)

This quarter, VNA Health Care discusses the importance of mammography and cervical cancer screenings as a means to save lives, with funding for this campaign provided in whole or in part by the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program.

Mammography and Breast Cancer

A mammogram is an x-ray picture of breast tissue. Images obtained through mammography are used to evaluate breast tissue for any anomalies that may indicate signs of breast cancer.

According to VNA Health Care, mammography is important because it makes it possible to detect changes in tissue, such as the development of small tumors before they can be felt by physical inspection or self-examination. Such screenings can also identify ‘microcalcifications’, a potential indication of the development of early-stage breast cancer.

Important Things to Know About a Mammogram

  • Routine mammograms are the best current diagnostic test used by doctors to detect early signs of breast cancer

  • Early detection of breast cancer via mammography can reduce the risk of dying by up to 60% in a 10-year period following diagnosis

  • Mammograms are capable of detecting lumps up to 3-years prior to detection by physical examination

  • Exposure to radiation is less than that of a standard chest x-ray

  • The entire procedure takes just 20 minutes

  • Discomfort is minimal for most women

  • Avoiding a mammogram a week before menstruation can reduce discomfort from sensitive or swollen breasts

  • Women with a family history of breast cancer may be advised by their doctor to have annual mammograms

  • Women ages 50 and up should be screened every two years

Cervical Screenings and Cervical Cancer

According to the American Cancer Society, in 2022 it is estimated that nearly 14,000 new cases of invasive cervical cancer will be diagnosed, resulting in almost 4,300 deaths.

Cervical cancer once ranked as one of the most common causes of cancer death for women in America. However, over the last four decades, there has been a marked decline in cervical cancer deaths, largely attributed to the increased use of pap tests.

This minimally invasive screening procedure is capable of identifying changes or anomalies in the cervix before the development of cancer, thus acting as an early warning sign for intervention or monitoring. It is also capable of detecting the presence of cancer at earlier stages when it is easier to treat and cure.

Important Things to Know About a Pap Smear

  • The Pap Smear is one of two tests that can aid in the prevention and early detection of cervical cancer

  • Pat tests identify precancerous cells of the cervix before they develop into cancer

  • This test is minimally invasive and can be done at a clinic or doctor’s office

  • The recommendation for screening in the USA is every three years for women ages 30-65

  • Contrary to popular belief, women should continue to get screened even after they have stopped having children

About VNA Health Care

VNA Health Care is a community-based, patient-centered, not-for-profit healthcare provider serving the suburban Chicago area with compassionate and convenient healthcare.

Dedicated to the health and wellness of over 75,000 patients yearly, VNA Health Care welcomes and encourages new and existing patients to schedule an appointment for their mammogram and cervical cancer screening.

Those interested in learning more or making an appointment can reach out to VNA Health Care through its official website or by calling 847-278-9823.

All patients are welcome, including those with Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance, or no insurance at all.

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VNA Health Care
(630) 593-7080