While many people know it's an important medical procedure, there are still some who put off scheduling an appointment for a breast screening.

Dr. Desiree D'Angelo, a breast surgeon at Atlanticare Regional Medical Center in Egg Harbor Township, said many people put off having the breast screening because they're scared or find them unnecessary.

But she said mammograms are increasingly more sensitive, diagnosing cancer earlier than ever. If cancer can be diagnosed as early as possible, it can give a person the best chance for a cure and a longer survival rate.

Finding that tiny spot on the mammogram that doctors can't feel yet is how they are diagnosing these cancers earlier, said D'Angelo.

The American Cancer Society of New Jersey says in 2019 about 8,340 women in the state will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 1,250 are expected to die from the disease. In 2019, more than 268,000 women in the the country will be diagnosed and 41,760 will die from breast cancer.

D'Angelo said she still believes a woman should start getting a mammogram at age 40 because women are being diagnosed younger with breast cancer. However, if a relative was diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age, than you should start getting screened 10 years earlier than that relative.

Men also can get breast cancer, although it is rare. If there is a genetic pre-disposition for breast cancer in the family, men are also at risk.

If a man or woman detects a lump during a self-exam at home, D'Angelo said to call a doctor and schedule a mammogram, even if it's been a short time since the last one.

"If you haven't gotten your mammogram this year and you think you're overdue, call your doctor, get your script, go get your mammogram and focus on your personal health," said D'Angelo.

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