COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and as we approach the end of the month, physicians are reminding women that early detection is important.

Dr. Ko Un Park, assistant professor of surgery at the Ohio State University James Cancer Center, said she’s seen firsthand the value of a month dedicated to breast health.

“I think one of the main advantages of events like the Breast Cancer Awareness Month is that it is empowering women to be their self-advocate,” Park said. 

One of the easiest forms of advocating for yourself can include scheduling a mammogram.

“The American Cancer Society recommends women seek screening mammography at the age of 40 unless they have a family history of earlier onset breast cancer or other factors that put them at a higher risk,” Park said.

Dr. Margaret Gatti-Mays, associate professor in medical oncology at Ohio State University, said there are other ways women can be proactive and that is to conduct monthly self-exams.

“The self-exam is really important in helping to determine any abnormalities,” Gatti-Mays said. 

Both doctors agree that early detection is critical. Park said focusing on one type of cancer just one month out of the year can make big differences in the health of women.

“One of the main things that occurs in the month of October is the increase of mammography,” she said. “As a surgeon, I actually see that downstream as there’s an increase in biopsy rates and an increase in cancer diagnoses in the month of October going on to November.”

For more information on breast cancer from self-exams, early detection, and treatment, click here.