BATON ROUGE, La – During October, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is highlighting the importance of screening and self-exams to help Louisianians lower their risks from breast cancer.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), breast cancer is one of the most common cancers diagnosed in the United States. And while it is usually found in women age 50 and older, younger women and men are affected, too.
“The good news is that preventive screening for breast cancer is very effective at catching the disease in its earliest stages, before it spreads to other areas of the body,” said Dr. Emily Vincent, Blue Cross medical director. “The advances in screening we have today are helping more cancer patients be treated successfully, live longer and have better outcomes.”
Dr. Vincent shares the importance of breast cancer screening in this Health Notes PSA (:30).
The difference preventive screening can make in a cancer patient’s outcomes is one reason it’s so important to have at least one checkup each year with your health care provider, Dr. Vincent said. “Your provider can review your personal medical and family history to figure out your risk factors, recommend which screenings or tests you should have and help you get those scheduled,” she said.
The main test for breast cancer screening is a mammogram, which is an imaging study of the breasts and surrounding tissue to pick up cancer or other growths. Mammograms are often able to detect these before they are large enough to be felt or noticed. Health officials generally recommend women start regular mammogram screening at age 40. Women with a family history of breast cancer or other risk factors may need to begin having mammograms at a younger age.
Women of all ages should do breast self-exams at least once a month. “No one knows your body better than you, so stay aware of what’s your ‘normal’ with regular self-checks. That will help you pick up any changes faster,” Dr. Vincent said. “If you feel a lump, notice differences in the color or texture of the skin around your breasts, or if you can just tell something is not the same, talk to your health care provider as soon as possible.”
Blue Cross Health Care Economist Mike Bertaut recently shared his family’s cancer stories and the difference screening makes in a recent post for Straight Talk, the insurer’s multimedia blog on health care policy, costs and quality.
Follow Blue Cross on social media @BCBSLA throughout October to see original graphic designs, videos and other messages about breast cancer awareness and the ways screening saves lives. You can download, share or post these messages on your social media and inspire your loved ones to get screened. Blue Cross posts regularly on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and TikTok.
Visit the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana YouTube channel to see short videos on preventive cancer screening and other wellness topics. Subscribe to know when new videos are added.
Ride Pink With Blue Bikes
During October, Blue Cross is sponsoring a pink bike takeover with Blue Bikes, New Orleans’ bikeshare program. All month, 50 bikes available in the fleet will feature special pink baskets with designs promoting breast cancer screening. Riders can take or share pictures of the pink Blue Bikes to show why they #RidePinkNOLA.
Follow Blue Bikes on social media @BlueBikesNOLA this month to enter a contest for a chance to win a one-year Blue Bikes membership ($300 value).
Learn more about the Ride Pink NOLA promotion in this video news release from Hometown Productions (14:32).
Visit www.BlueBikesNOLA.cohttp://www.bluebikesnola.com for more information about bike locations and rider options.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is committed to our mission to improve the health and lives of Louisianians. Founded in New Orleans in 1934, we are a tax-paying nonprofit health insurer with offices in every major region to serve our customers. We have been recognized for the past four years as an honoree of The Civic 50, named by Points of Light as one of the 50 most community-minded companies in the United States.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. We are a private mutual company, owned by our policyholders, with an independent Louisiana Board of Directors and no shareholders. We invite all Louisianians to visit our website at www.bcbsla.com or talk to us on social media @BCBSLA.