Pink October: the importance of prevention
Posted on: 2021-10-13
Pink October is awareness month for the prevention and diagnosis of breast cancer. The international action was created in the early 1990s by Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation in the United States. The symbol was launched in New York during the first Race for the Cure.
Breast cancer is what most affects women around the world. In 2020, 2.3 million new cases were diagnosed, equivalent to 11.6% of all possible cancers. The risk factors that contribute to the emergence of the disease are genetics (mutations of the BRCA1 and BRC2 genes), hereditary factors, late menopause, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, frequent exposure to ionizing radiation, and age above 50 years – the most important.
The best way to detect breast cancer is to have a mammography, an x-ray of the breast tissue taken by mammography. It can identify lesions in early stages, so it’s essential, as 98% of cases diagnosed early tend to cure.
Many women have doubts and fears about mammography despite awareness campaigns, mainly because it’s a radiation exam. However, it doesn’t offer risks to the patient’s health, as the doses used are shallow.
One of the myths of this exam is that it causes thyroid cancer and uterine tumors, but the chance of this happening is 1 case among 17 million women screened. The American College of Radiology, the American Thyroid Association, and other institutions don’t recommend the thyroid protector during mammography since it can compromise the test result.
The risk associated with the type of radiation on mammography is minimal, even more, compared to the benefit that this exam brings: prevention and early diagnosis of breast cancer. So: be on the safe side, go to the doctor and be sure to take the exams!