Health & Safety

October 19, 2012

Early detection key to cure

1st Lt. Joseph Walz and 2nd Lt. Daniel Doohen, 308th Fighter Squadron student pilots, place pink ribbons on the wall of the 308th FS building Oct. 12 to show their squadron’s support of breast cancer awareness month during the weekly burger burn at Luke Air Force Base. The 308th FS will donate the burger burn proceeds to the Susan G. Komen Foundation via the Combined Federal Campaign.

One woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every three minutes, according to the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure website.

And every 13 minutes, a woman will die from this disease. Yet, more than two 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 age 35. Best of all, these screening mammograms are at no cost.

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 a doctor immediately.

Where can you get your mammogram?

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

• The mammography center is TRICARE-authorized.

• If you’re on TRICARE Prime, the mammography center is in the TRICARE network. If not, a referral is required from the primary doctor.

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




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