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Mammograms save lives, are crucial in early detection, says Dr. Erin Burke

Breast cancer scan on computer.

/ by UK HeathCare

Dr. Erin Burke is a board-certified surgical oncologist at the UK Markey Cancer Center who treats breast cancer patients as well as patients with soft tissue sarcoma and cutaneous malignancies such as melanoma. 

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we chatted with Dr. Burke about the importance of a cancer screenings – and why a yearly mammogram is a vital part of a regular healthcare routine. 

Why is it more important now than ever to encourage cancer screenings?

During the height of the pandemic when we were first really meeting this head on, for example, in March and April, the rates of mammography in the country dropped dramatically by as much as 87%. 

Since that time, we've been able to get back to screening for our cancers, and that includes mammography and colonoscopy. 

Why are mammograms so important, and when should women have their first mammogram?

Mammograms are really our best tool to catch breast cancer early. And when we catch breast cancer early, we're able to offer our patients a survival of greater than 98 percent. 

The American Cancer Society recommends that women of average risk begin getting their mammograms at the age of 45. 

If you have a relative that's had a breast cancer, you may be someone that needs mammography earlier than the age of 45. 

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and we just want to make sure that all women are aware of when they should be getting their mammogram so that they can encourage their family members and friends to get one when it's time so that we can catch cancer early in women and offer them the best survival and treatment possible.

Watch our full interview with Dr.Burke.

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