Breast cancer knows no age, shape, or size.
"Really all women are at risk," says Dr. Lewis Jones, director of breast imaging at Ingham Regional Medical Center.
According to the American Cancer Society, nearly 200,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. Only lung cancer accounts for more cancer deaths in women.
"I know there have got to be thousands of women who are just unaware, period," Jones says.
Jones works at Ingham's Breast Care Center. He's passionate about educating women about the importance of early detection, because finding breast cancer early, can save a life.
Breast cancer is nearly 98 percent survivable when detected early, which is why doctors encourage women to be proactive.
And there's a three-pronged approach to doing so: self-exams, clinical exams, and mammograms.
Women in their 20s and 30s should see a doctor for a clinical breast exam once every two to three years, and are encouraged to perform self-exams every month.
Women over 40 should get a mammogram once a year, as well as a clinical breast exam once a year, and should also perform self-exams every month.
That yearly mammogram, Dr. Jones believes, makes all the difference.
"This is a lifesaver," he says. "This not only saves breasts, it also saves lives. That's the message that people need to know: Getting a mammogram, getting a mammogram, getting a mammogram."
You can help find a cure, by walking in The American Cancer Society's Making Strides For Breast Cancer Walk. It's Saturday, October 10 at the State Capitol in downtown Lansing and the Riverwalk Amphitheater in Jackson. For more information, including how to sign up, click on the link below.