NYC Health + Hospitals Promotes Breast Health
Breast Cancer Awareness Month: More Than Mammograms
Oct 03, 2016
In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, NYC Health + Hospitals is promoting the education of patients about breast cancer screening and about how living a healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk of getting breast cancer.
Earlier in 2016, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force released updated guidelines for breast cancer screening that are being implemented across the NYC Health + Hospitals system. The guidelines recommend that women who are 50 to 74 years old should have a mammogram every two years. Women who are 40 to 49 years old and those 75 and older should talk to their doctor about whether to have a mammogram.
“Earlier guidelines suggested that all women over 40 should have a mammogram, but research shows that mammograms are most effective for women ages 50 to 74 when you balance the potential benefits and harms. Harms of mammograms include errors in diagnosing cancer when none exists, as well as subjecting healthy women to unnecessary biopsies,” said Dave Chokshi, MD, chief population health officer of OneCity Health, a subsidiary of NYC Health + Hospitals.
Dr. Chokshi notes that women who are younger than 50—particularly those who have risk factors such as a family history of breast cancer—should discuss the pros and cons of mammography with their physicians.
NYC Health + Hospitals offers women other tips to reduce the risk of breast cancer and help them live their healthiest lives:
- Quit smoking, or better yet, never start.
- Limit alcohol consumption to no more than one drink per day.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Exercise regularly.
“Mammograms are important, but the simple steps every woman can take to reduce breast cancer risk also matter. It’s no coincidence that these healthy behaviors are a key to reducing the risk of breast cancer as well as other cancers,” notes Dr. Chokshi.
To find a mammography location, schedule an appointment, or read other information, please visit www.nychealthandhospitals.org/breasthealth.