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ABC stunt proves mammograms are essential for detecting breast cancer

by , 12 November 2013

An on-air stunt has saved Amy Robach's life. According to reports, Robach who is a correspondent for ABC News underwent a mammogram on the 1st of October during a segment of Good Morning America to kick off Breast Cancer Awareness month - only to find out later she had the life-threatening disease. This incident highlights the importance of having a mammogram…

Robach wrote in a blog post on US network ABC’s website that doctors told her: “That mammogram just saved your life.”

In the blog post, Robach says she was approached by a producer and was initially reluctant to do the test on TV.

She explains: “On October 1, I had my first mammogram, in front of millions of people. After breathing a big sigh of relief once it was done, my breath was taken away only a few weeks later. I thought I was going back in for a few follow-up images, only to find out in a matter of hours that I had breast cancer,” she wrote.

The TV anchor has revealed that she’ll go into surgery where doctors will perform a bilateral mastectomy followed by reconstructive surgery.

The 40 year old also added that she hopes her story will help other women.

She added, “I can only hope my story will do the same and inspire every woman who hears it to get a mammogram, to take a self exam. No excuses. It is the difference between life and death.”

While Robach gets ready for her battle with breast cancer, it’s in your best interest to get a mammogram as well.

Here’s why you need to go for a mammogram

Going for a mammogram is said to be the most effective breast cancer screening tool.

A mammogram is an X-ray image of your breast used to screen for breast cancer. Mammograms play a key role in early breast cancer detection and help decrease breast cancer deaths, explains the Mayo Clinic.

During a mammogram, your breasts are compressed between two firm surfaces to spread out the breast tissue. Then an X-ray captures black-and-white images of your breasts that are displayed on a computer screen and examined by a doctor who looks for signs of cancer.

The medical website sates that mammography can either be used for screening or for diagnostic purposes in evaluating a breast lump:

  • Screening mammography. Screening mammography is used to detect breast changes in women who have no signs or symptoms or observable breast abnormalities. The goal is to detect cancer before clinical signs are noticeable.
  • Diagnostic mammography. Diagnostic mammography is used to investigate suspicious breast changes, such as a breast lump, breast pain, an unusual skin appearance, nipple thickening or nipple discharge. It’s also used to evaluate abnormal findings on a screening mammogram.

According to My Cancer, breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in women (after lung cancer) and is the most common cancer among women.

If there’s one thing you should take from Robach’s story, it’s that early detection is key towards curbing these deaths. So make sure you go for your mammogram and examine your breasts regularly.

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