Fairmont General Hospital Encourages Annual Breast Exams - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Fairmont General Hospital Encourages Annual Breast Exams

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FAIRMONT -

Breast Cancer is an abnormal growth of cells, known as a tumor, in the breast.

It grows in five stages, each stage being a more advanced form of the disease.

Doctors said the earlier you detect it, the easier it is to cure.

"There are a lot of people out there who have it and don't know it," said Program Coordinator for Oncology Services Tricia Julian. "That's the reason for the importance of early detection."

The month of October is dedicated to raising awareness about breast cancer.

Nurses at Fairmont General Hospital said while most people are aware of the disease, many forget to take the steps necessary to have a plan to detect the disease in its early stages.

"In some cases you can detect a lump by breast self exam that maybe mammography would not pick up," Julian said. "On the flip side of that, mammography can detect some lumps that you cannot feel with a monthly breast exam."

Screening and diagnostic are the two basic classifications of a mammogram.

Screening is a routine preventive study for women over the age of 40 and diagnostic is an abnormal finding in the women's breast.

Fairmont General is currently raising funds to purchase a new mammography machine.

It will be able to enhance images and show more detail.

Doctors said an annual breast exam is necessary and want to give Marion County residents a close place to go.

"We also hope to raise education about mammography and breast cancer in Marion County," said Foundation Coordinator Whitney Hatcher. "The death rate due to breast cancer in Marion County is 25 percent higher then the national or state average."

Nurses at Fairmont General Hospital said there are a few signs to detect breast cancer.

Symptoms can include a lump in your breast, a change in shape, or tenderness.

If you are experiencing any of those symptoms, doctors encourage you to make an appointment for an exam.