Why Regular Mammograms are Important
Why Regular Mammograms are Important
The National Breast Cancer Foundation states that 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast
cancer. With this sobering statistic in mind, it’s important to understand that mammograms are key to helping save women’s lives by detecting cancer early, and ultimately saving lives. According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer death rates declined among women by 40% from 1989 to 2016, thanks to early detection provided by mammograms.
If those statistics above don’t resonate with you — please read on. Here’s what you should know about mammograms and the importance of getting screened after the age of 40:
What is a Mammogram?
A mammogram is a series of X-ray pictures of the breasts. It’s a noninvasive test that is paramount in assisting in early detection of breast cancer in women. Although it’s painless, it can be a little uncomfortable. Getting a mammogram done when recommended is worth it because itt can show lumps, fibrosis and abnormal growths that may be missed during self breast examination. There are two different types of mammograms: screening and diagnostic. We’ll talk about the differences between the two.
The Screening Mammogram
Here’s additional information about the screening mammogram and why it’s important:
- It’s ordered to be done routinely once a year (an annual mammogram) after you turn 40 unless you have a history of cancer in your family and your healthcare provider orders it earlier.
- It consists of two X-rays to look for signs of cancer if you are symptom-free.
- It’s an early detection tool to find cancer early before you have any symptoms.
The Diagnostic Mammogram
Here’s why your healthcare provider might order a diagnostic mammogram:
- If you’ve told your healthcare provider about an abnormality such as breast tenderness or a lump has been detected.
- If your screening mammogram didn’t provide enough information, or to identify a false reading.
- If you’ve previously had breast cancer.
- To obtain 3D imaging, which provides more and clearer views.
Why Should You Have a Mammogram Every Year After You Turn 40
Age, genetics and breast density are all risk factors for getting breast cancer. Unfortunately, the risk of getting breast cancer increases as you age. Even if you don’t have any e risk factors, you can still get breast cancer —which is why it’s important to get screening mammograms annually after you turn 40. Without mammograms, early tumors can go undetected. Mammograms allow for the earliest possible detection and treatment before the cancer grows and spreads to other parts of the body.
The women’s program at Norton King's Daughters’ Health is here to help you. We provide the screening services you need and encourage you to talk to your doctor if you’re close to 40 or older and haven’t had a mammogram, have a family history of cancer or are behind in your annual mammograms.
The Future of the Mammogram is Here
Scientists and medical professionals are finding out more and more about breast cancer and early detection. Now, there are mammograms that provide even more information and detail. We offer Genius 3D Mammography that allows our doctors to view the breast tissue layer by layer. It gives a clearer, more in-depth image than a 2D mammogram. Additionally, we understand that getting a mammogram can be uncomfortable and unnerving. That’s why we provide a breast stabilization system that provides added comfort while you’re getting your mammogram. We also recognize that it can be scary when you get called back to have a follow-up mammogram. Our Genius 3D Mammography reduces those callbacks by 40%.
A mammogram is one of the best things you can do to take care of your body. Contact us if you have questions and to learn more.