Baptist Surgical Oncologist Discusses Breast Cancer Prevention

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Dr. Alyssa Throckmorton, a breast surgeon with Baptist Medical Group and medical director of Baptist’s Breast Program, joined “Wake Up Memphis” on Wednesday, sharing the importance of getting mammograms and ways to prevent the risk of cancer.

She recommended women should start scheduling regular mammogram checkups at the age of 40. However, if breast cancer is something that is very common in her family history, she should check at 30.


Throckmorton warned that getting screened is important because cancer is something that typically isn’t dictated by life choices. Most of the time, it’s for reasons that can’t be changed.

“A lot of it is being aware of your personal risk,” she said. “There are some risk factors for breast cancer that none of us can change. My risk of having breast cancer is going to be very different than yours just by the fact that I was born a woman and you weren’t. There are a couple thousand men in the US that get breast cancer each year so it is possible. Women, however, have a substantially higher risk. None of us can change the gender we were born with, so that’s one of the factors we can’t do anything about.”

Age is another factor that is uncontrollable. The older women get, the more likely they are to get it.

There are ways to try to prevent your risk of getting breast cancer. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is one Dr. Throckmorton believes is crucial.

“Whether or not you exercise regularly can be a prevention,” she said. “Obesity can be a factor that can contribute to breast cancer and a number of other health concerns.”

Getting checked regularly is important to detect something ahead of time. Throckmorton believes especially now is the time to get checked because for many women, it has been years since their last examination.

“The earlier you find it, the more treatment choices you may have,” she said. “At this point, I would really encourage people to go get their mammograms this week. COVID really disrupted some of our screenings, I think we have a number of women out there who haven’t had one in a couple years. I think time got away from a lot of us… I still think we have some people who probably are behind in screenings.”


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