Your first line of defense in preventing breast cancer is you - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Your first line of defense in preventing breast cancer is you

WK Breast Health Center WK Breast Health Center

Everyone knows someone who has been affected by cancer.

This month is all about helping women and men affected, in particular, by breast cancer. 

One in eight women have been affected by breast cancer.

And one thing that's concerning some doctors is women are developing breast cancer earlier in life.

Women who are at average risk of developing breast cancer should get a mammogram once a year starting at age 40, said Dr. Julie Cupp, of Willis-Knighton Breast Center. Higher-risk patients should get the screenings every 6 months.

Men have less than a 1 percent chance of developing breast cancer but should get checked nonetheless.

Your first line of defense against breast cancer is you, Cupp said.  

"We recommend doing breast self-exams for breast awareness. We don't expect you to know what every lump and bump in your breast is. Know what your normal is. So that way if something is changing from normal, then you can call the attention to it needing to be evaluated. Figuring out that this is something new and nothing to be concerned about, versus 'Hey, wait, this is something we do need to be concerned about'."

Cupp said 3-D mammograms have become increasing popular since October 2015 and are helping a lot more in tracking breast cancer. 

"It really helps us improve on what we're seeing on imaging. We're reducing the amount of callbacks. So people getting an abnormal screening mammogram, they get the call that says 'Hey, we need to look again.' It's reducing the amount of that," the doctor said.

"It also has an increase of a detection rate of about 30 percent. We're seeing more true stuff and less of the fake stuff."

Willis-Knighton has built a section to help patients fight off breast cancer. Cupp explained what makes her office stand out: 

"One of the great things about my new office is that we're attached to the breast imaging center. Our offices actually have a hallway that connect it," she said. "That way, doctors and patients can move back and forth between the two. That away, we can give the patients all the care they need as quickly and seamlessly as possible."

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