After getting the procedure, Cecily told Jenn and Dr. Nita, “I feel great. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. A little bit of pressure, but it was great.”
During the segment, Jenn read a series of statements about breast cancer and Dr. Nita confirmed whether they were true or false.
True or false? If I don’t have a family history of breast cancer, I don’t have to worry about it.
False. Dr. Nita said that although family history is important, approximately 85% of women who are diagnosed with breast cancer don’t have a family history of the disease.
“So, this information is important for all women,” she added.
True or false? I don’t need a mammogram because if I had breast cancer, I’d feel a lump in my breast.
False. The OB/GYN said many people with breast cancer don’t notice any signs or symptoms. Additionally, Dr. Nita said in lieu of a lump, there may be other noticeable changes.
“Someone may say, ‘I noticed a change in the size or shape of my breasts,’” she pointed out. “Maybe they noticed irritation or dimpling of the breast skin or nipple discharge that they can’t attribute to [something other than] breast cancer.”
True or false? If I feel a lump, it’s definitely cancer.
False. While Dr. Nita said breast lumps could be caused by cancer, they could also be caused by noncancerous conditions such as a benign breast cyst.
“However, whether you have a lump or something else that’s concerning, don’t assume it’s not cancerous,” she warned. “Let your doctor confirm.”
True or false? A healthy lifestyle can help decrease your risk of breast cancer.
True. Dr. Nita said about 30% of breast cancer diagnoses are linked to risk factors that women may be able to change — such as excess body weight, physical inactivity, and alcohol intake.
True or false? Black women are disproportionately impacted by breast cancer.
True. The doctor pointed out that Black women have a lower incidence rate of breast cancer compared to white women. However, she said that Black women have a 40% higher breast cancer death rate compared to white women.
“The probability of having breast cancer before 40 is really low; however, when you look at all the numbers, Black women are the group that will be more likely to get breast cancer below 40 years of age,” Dr. Nita added.
Noting that different organizations have different recommendations, Dr. Nita told Jenn that overall, most groups recommend that an average risk woman — who does not have an increased risk from her lifestyle or a strong family history of breast cancer — should start getting mammograms no earlier than age 40 and no later than age 50.