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17:00 PM

10TV: Breast Health and Cancer Awareness

As we address breast health during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Deepa Halaharvi, DO, OhioHealth breast cancer surgeon and breast cancer survivor, reminds us just how important early detection through screening can be.

“Mammograms tend to catch cancer when it is much smaller at a lower stage,” Dr. Halaharvi told 10TV reporter Tara Jabour. “Which means it improves survival for women and for men. There is also less need for chemotherapy, and they can have less invasive surgeries.” Mammogram screenings should be done annually starting at the age of 40.

However, breast cancer awareness should not be limited to healthcare facilities alone. Dr. Halaharvi strongly advises women to perform monthly self-examinations. “Put your arms up and look in the mirror for any tugging, dimpling, or pulling,” she said. “Look for a mass that looks like a rock or marble. Sometimes I say the knuckle, how hard that feels, if you feel something like that and it's not moving around let your physician know."

There are many common misconceptions surrounding breast cancer, including the belief that a family history of breast cancer is a prerequisite for developing the disease. Dr. Halaharvi shared that this is not necessary. Only 15 percent of women affected by breast cancer have any family history.

Another misconception is that breast cancer only affects older individuals, yet prevention is crucial regardless of age. “25 percent of all breast cancer patients are under the age of 50, 25 percent of women dying from breast cancer are under the age of 50,” Dr. Halaharvi said.

Breast cancer remains a significant health concern, with over 300,000 women and 2,800 men being diagnosed annually. Taking a proactive role in your own health can make a difference in the battle against this disease. Breast cancer awareness and early detection should be a priority for everyone. 

Click here to find an OhioHealth mammography location near you and schedule an appointment.