‘Think Pink’ during Breast Cancer Awareness Month: What you need to know about the disease


October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and NewsChannel 9 hosted a call-in with doctors from Upstate University Hospital, the American Cancer Society and the Onondaga County Cancer Services Program to offer advice and clarify misconceptions.

About 252,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed this year alone, and 63,000 cases of early breast cancer. In the last few years, conflicting information has come out, leaving many women confused about when they should start getting mammograms. 

A government task force says women should start getting mammograms at age 50, and then get them every other year.

The American Cancer Society, however, says women should be screened younger–at 45– and get tested every year.

Recently the American College of Radiology says women should begin getting tested at 40 and should get examined every year. 

Dr. Jayne Charlamb from Upstate University Hospital recommends women consider starting getting mammograms at age 40, and that they should talk to their doctor about any concerns or decisions they were planning to make. 

She also says there are some factors you have no control over, like your family history, gender or genes, but you can change other factors that put you at a lesser risk of developing breast cancer like your alcohol consumption, being overweight and when you have your first child. 

Click the player to watch the full segment. 

We’ve listed some helpful links below: 

– Breast cancer risk assessment tool

– Onondaga County Health Department Cancer Services Program

– American Cancer Society Breast Cancer Quiz

– Upstate Cancer Center

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