10 Important Things to Know About Mammograms

10 Important Things to Know About Mammograms

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noodist magazine 10 things to know about mammograms

Breast cancer is a battle that requires the collaboration of individuals, technology, and science. Regular breast self-exams, clinical breast examinations, ultrasounds or MRIs, and, of course, mammograms are crucial in the detection and prevention of breast cancer. Our friends at www.breastcancer.org highlight the importance of mammograms in the fight against breast cancer.

1. Early detection saves lives Getting a mammogram early can significantly reduce your risk of dying from breast cancer, by 25-30% or more. Women should start getting annual mammograms at age 40 or earlier if they have a higher risk.

2. Don't worry Mammograms are quick (around 20 minutes) and discomfort is usually minimal. It's a safe procedure, with only a very small amount of radiation exposure. To reduce anxiety, try to go to a center that can provide you with results before you leave.

3. Choose high-quality mammograms For women with dense breasts or those under 50, getting a digital mammogram is recommended. Digital mammograms are recorded onto a computer, allowing doctors to enlarge and examine specific sections more closely.

nood blog post 10 things to know about mammograms

4. Be prepared like a scout Earn a gold star by bringing your previous mammogram films or results with you to your appointment. Your doctors will appreciate it, and it can help them detect any changes. If you have been to the same facility before, make sure your past results are available to whoever will be looking at your new results.

5. Stay loyal Once you have found a facility you trust, make an effort to go there for your mammograms every year. This way, your mammograms can be compared from year to year, and any changes can be detected early.
6. Ask about CAD Computer-Aided Detection, or CAD, is a helpful tool that assists radiologists in identifying any areas of concern that may need further attention. Check if your center offers CAD and request it if it's available.

7. Keep it natural Avoid using deodorant or antiperspirant on the day of your mammogram. These products can interfere with the test results and show up on the film. It's only a few hours, so it's best to go natural for the sake of your health.

noodist magazine 10 things to know about mammograms

8. The power of mammography Mammography is an incredibly powerful tool in detecting breast cancer, but it's important to note that it's not foolproof. Up to 20% of breast cancers may not be visible on a mammogram, so it's crucial to use other tools like breast self-exam, clinical breast examination, and possibly ultrasound or MRI in conjunction with mammography.

9. Keep calm and carry on Receiving an abnormal result from a mammogram can be a scary experience, but it's important to remember that it doesn't necessarily mean you have breast cancer. The American Cancer Society reports that about 10% of women who undergo mammograms will require additional tests, and only a small percentage of those women will need a biopsy. Of those biopsies, about 80% turn out to be benign.

10.Time is of the essence It's crucial for women to get their mammograms on a regular basis, beginning at age 40. If you have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer or have undergone chest radiation therapy in the past, it's recommended that you start getting annual mammograms earlier, sometimes as early as age 30. Consult with your healthcare provider to determine the best screening plan for your individual needs.

noodist magazine 10 things to know about mammograms