Progress being made finding, fighting breast cancer - Fox 2 News Headlines

Progress being made finding, fighting breast cancer

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By Deena Centofanti
FOX 2 News Health Reporter


SOUTHFIELD, Mich. -- October is the month we really focus on breast cancer.  It's important to point out we are making progress when it comes to finding and fighting it.

"I do participate in mammograms, and I think that it's very important for women 40 and over to have it done," said one woman.

Metro Detroit women are getting the message about mammograms.

"My mom died of breast cancer when she was 40, so I've been getting mammorgrams since I've been 22," another woman said.

The medical community has sent some conflicting advice about the screening, but here is the American Cancer Society's bottom line.

"Women beginning at the age of 40 should start doing mammograms annually, and those women with a higher risk like a family history or a first-degree relative with breast cancer should talk to their physician about potentially starting sooner and those women with a documented genetic risk," said Dr. Dawn Severson, an oncologist with Henry Ford Health System.

We know with early detection comes faster treatment.  Now the focus is on targeted therapies, specific drugs that stop cancer cell growth.

"This old drug called tamoxophin was really one of our first targeted therapies.  It still works wonderfully," Severson said.  "We've actually had multiple other medications for women who are postmenopausal that target estrogen with better success than tamoxophin."

Helping to fund that research is what brings thousands of metro Detroiters to the American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walks.  

So please join us on Saturday when we will be in the heart of downtown Detroit raising money and awareness with the American Cancer Society.

For more information about this weekend's walk, visit www.makingstrideswalk.org.

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