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Knox County Hospital District—
KNOX CITY—Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women and the second-leading cause of cancer deaths among women in the United States.
October is recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the Knox County Hospital District is encouraging women in the region to talk with their medical providers about their risks of developing breast cancer, learn about self-exams, and determine regular screening schedules.
“One of the first steps you can do in the fight against breast cancer is contact your local medical provider and ask them about screening options that are right for you,” said Dr. Laura Hart, a family physician in Knox City. “Regular health checkups and related screenings continue to be critical to ensure you are in the best health possible. These screenings can potentially save your life.”
In 2020 alone, it is estimated that 19,590 women in Texas will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Upwards of 3,060 Texans are expected to die because of the disease.
Breast cancer is a malignant tumor that develops from the breast tissue and, like many other cancers, can quickly spread to other parts of the body if not detected early.
When detected in its first stage, breast cancer survival rates for women are nearly 99 percent at five years. However, by Stage 3, survival rates at five years fall to about 57 percent.
In addition to monthly self-exams, the American Cancer Society recommends a mammogram every year for women ages 45 to 54 and every two years for women ages 55 and older.
Dr. Hart says that family history also plays a role in how frequently a woman should undergo screening. A healthcare provider can recommend a screening schedule based on a woman’s family cancer history and other health considerations.
The Texas Department of State Health Services estimates that approximately 33.6 percent of women in Texas over the age of 40 have not had a mammogram within the past two years.
“When it comes to breast cancer, forgoing screenings can be dangerous,” Dr. Hart says. “When you talk with your medical provider, they can recommend a screening schedule that is right for you.”
A provider’s order is not required for breast cancer screening. Medicare, Medicaid, and most private health plans cover all or part of the cost of these screenings.
Scheduling a wellness exam with a healthcare provider is an excellent opportunity to discuss breast cancer risks and screenings. Call Knox City Clinic at 940-657-3906 or the Munday Clinic at 940-422-5271 for an appointment or visit www.knoxhospital.org.