October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month – know the importance of early detection

By Chad Ashe, General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital Public AffairsOctober 26, 2021

(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — October is a time for transition as the leaves change colors and we prepare to usher in the holiday season. It is also a time to highlight the importance of breast cancer awareness. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women after skin cancer.

According to Capt. Shanley Brasher, officer in charge of the Leonard Wood Medical Home at the General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital, sometimes there are very few symptoms when it comes to breast cancer. In October 2018, her mother went in for her routine mammogram where they found a mass. After further testing, it was determined to be stage III breast cancer. She had no other symptoms.

“Because she went for her routine mammogram it was caught early and treated,” Brasher said. “As a family nurse practitioner and daughter of a survivor, I cannot reinforce the importance of prevention and detection of breast cancer.”

Brasher said the chances of survival are much higher with early detection. She also recommended:

  • Men and women should speak with their health-care provider about the risk for developing breast cancer, especially if a family member had breast or ovarian cancer.
  • Discuss when and how often to get a mammogram. For women aged 50 to 74 and at average risk, a mammogram is recommended every two years.
  • Men can also get breast cancer. This is often misdiagnosed or diagnosed later.
  • Anyone experiencing symptoms such as a lump, nipple discharge or change in the appearance of the skin on the breast or nipple should contact their healthcare provider for further testing.

Tricare beneficiaries may schedule an appointment to be seen at GLWACH by calling 866.299.4234, or visiting the MHS Genesis Portal.