Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The #1 Way to Survive Breast Cancer

By Shari Lopatin
TriWest Healthcare Alliance

One woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every three minutes.*

And every 13 minutes, a woman will die from this disease. Yet, more than 2 million survivors of breast cancer are living in the U.S. today.* Do you know what that means?

Even if you’ve been diagnosed, there is still hope.

Mammograms Save Lives; TRICARE Covers Them
The sooner you detect breast cancer, the better your chance of survival. And a mammogram is one of the best ways to detect it early enough for successful treatment. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say having regular mammograms can lower your risk of dying from breast cancer, in general.

Just remember to also follow up with your doctor for a clinical breast exam and continue your monthly self-exams.

TRICARE covers mammograms for women starting at age 40. For those considered at high risk for breast cancer, TRICARE begins covering mammograms at 35 years old. Best of all, these screening mammograms are at no cost to you.

Early Warning Signs of Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in American women, other than skin cancer, according to the CDC. So, what are some of the earliest warning signs?

·         A new lump in the breast or armpit
·         Thickening or swelling of the breast
·         Nipple discharge, other than breast milk, including blood
·         Change in size or shape of the breast
·         Pain in any area of the breast

If you are concerned about any of these symptoms, visit your doctor immediately.

Where Can You Get Your Mammogram?
Your doctor can give you some options where you can conveniently get a mammogram. Your closest option might be at a military clinic or a local imaging center—sometimes these are called radiology centers. To have your mammogram at no cost, make sure that:

·         Your mammography center is TRICARE-authorized.
·         If you’re on TRICARE Prime, your mammography center is in the TRICARE network. If not, you will need a referral from your primary doctor.

For more information on breast cancer prevention, visit TriWest.com/Prevention.

* Information pulled from Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.