Becoming abreast on breast cancer
DILLON-Dr. Julie Gelman is supporting National Breast Cancer Awareness Month by giving a free talk on breast cancer Wednesday.”What I’m trying to do is inform the patient about who’s at risk, what they can do preventively and what diagnostic testing they should be doing,” Gelman said.A new Colorado study indicates that exercise can prevent breast cancer. Other studies have shown that diet plays a role in prevention. Gelman will touch on these and other preventative measures.She’ll discuss risk factors including family history, personal history, increased age, diet, menstrual history and the effects of hormone replacement therapy on breast cancer risk.”Only 20 percent of women with breast cancer have a family history,” Gelman said. “The biggest problem is, women don’t want mammograms because there’s no family history.”Another problem Gelman runs into in her practice occurs when patients don’t go beyond mammograms and ultrasounds to rule out breast cancer. Mammograms and ultrasounds miss detecting breast cancer 15 percent of the time, so when women have breast tenderness, a breast mass or other symptoms, it’s important to do a biopsy to confirm a diagnosis.”That’s the part that patients don’t want to do,” she said.Gelman suggests women who have a family history of breast cancer begin mammogram screenings at age 35, and women who don’t, at age 40.Gelman also wants to dispel a couple of myths.”Every woman thinks they’re going to die from breast cancer (if they have it), and their risk (of death) isn’t as high as they necessarily think,” she said. “It’s the most common cancer women get, but it’s not the No. 1 reason women die. Heart disease is the No. 1 reason women die.”Gelman’s breast cancer awareness talk begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Border’s Books, Music & Caf in Dillon.Event: Breast cancer awareness talkWhen: 7-8 p.m. WednesdayWhere: Borders Books, Music & Caf, DillonKimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 245, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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