Breast Cancer Awareness Month is the ideal time to learn how screenings can prevent many cases of breast cancer.
It’s also a good reminder to schedule preventative screenings – not only for breast cancer but also for overall wellness – including eye health.
Annual Mammograms Save Lives
About one in eight women (12.4 percent) will develop invasive breast cancer in her lifetime. Second only to lung cancer, breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among women.
Screening mammograms (x-rays of the breast) help detect breast cancer in the early stages when the disease is most treatable. Women may choose to begin annual breast screening as early as age 40, but the American Cancer Society recommends that all women begin yearly breast cancer screening at age 45. Since 1990, mammograms have helped reduce breast cancer deaths by 40 percent.
Annual Comprehensive Eye Exams Protect Vision
Just as mammograms can help detect early breast cancer when it is most treatable, comprehensive eye exams can detect eye disease early to prevent vision loss. Over three percent of Americans over the age of 40 are legally blind or visually impaired.
Glaucoma and macular degeneration are two degenerative eye diseases that can develop gradually over an extended period. Often, symptoms do not appear until later stages when vision damage is irreversible.
Comprehensive eye exams also screen for cataracts, one of the most common vision problems in the United States. Cataract-related vision loss is reversible through cataract surgery, a safe, outpatient procedure that takes less than 20 minutes per eye.
Early detection and timely intervention and treatment can help prevent disease and preserve your vision. So this month, take the time to schedule all of your preventative screenings. Call your ophthalmologist and schedule a comprehensive eye exam to screen for eye disease.