Jennifer Garner wants you to get your breasts checked.
This week, the 47-year-old actress posted a video of herself at her annual mammogram appointment in light of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which takes place in October.
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“Happy October! It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month and it’s time for a mammogram,” she says as she appears from behind a curtain in the video.
“OK, your mammogram looks perfect,” her doctor tells her after her check is complete. He and Garner then give the camera a “thumbs up” before the “13 Going on 30” actress performs a celebratory dance.
“Every October I have a standing date. For a mammogram,” she captioned the video on Instagram. “For me, having the appointment on the books makes it routine, like the dentist. I know it’s scary, sisters, but just do it — the next best thing to an all-clear is early detection. To everyone in the thick of the battle — respect and love and strength to you.”
A screening mammogram, or an x-ray examination of a person’s breasts, is used to check for breast cancer even if the patient has no signs or symptoms of the disease, according to the National Cancer Institute.
“Screening mammograms usually involve two or more x-ray pictures, or images, of each breast. The x-ray images often make it possible to detect tumors that cannot be felt. Screening mammograms can also find microcalcifications (tiny deposits of calcium) that sometimes indicate the presence of breast cancer,” it states.
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Mammograms can also be used for diagnostic purposes after a lump is found in the breast.
The National Breast Cancer Foundation estimates 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. Although rare, men can similarly be affected — as was the case for one Ohio dad.