Regular mammogram screenings play a critical role in breast health. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we’re taking a moment to talk about the facts you need to know about these important screenings.
Mammography is the most accurate method of breast cancer detection.
No other breast cancer screening rivals the accuracy of a mammogram or can detect cancerous tumors as early.
Mammograms can detect breast cancer before a lump can be felt.
Early detection is key in surviving breast cancer. Mammograms can detect breast cancer before a lump is large enough to be felt in a breast exam performed on yourself or by your provider.
Regular mammograms and breast exams increase your breast cancer survival rate.
A monthly breast self-exam, annual breast exam performed by a provider and an annual mammogram can increase your chances of surviving breast cancer by 97 percent, should you ever develop the disease.
A mammogram appointment doesn’t take long.
A mammogram appointment is typically 30 minutes, and won’t take up too much of your time.
Mammogram pain or discomfort is minimal – if you experience it at all.
Mammograms involve breast compression, which can be slightly uncomfortable for some women. This compression only lasts a few seconds though, so if you do experience discomfort, it is brief. For a more comfortable mammogram, avoid scheduling your screening the week before your period when breasts may be swollen or tender.
There are two main types of mammograms performed today, 2D and 3D.
2D and 3D digital mammograms are the two main types of mammogram screenings performed within Baptist Health clinics. A 2D mammogram uses two plates to flatten and spread the breast tissue, then takes an electronic image of the breast. The image is then transferred to a computer where your provider can look for any areas of concern. A 3D mammogram compresses the breast, then takes a series of pictures as it moves over the tissue to create a 3D image. 3D mammograms produce a clearer picture, and are often preferred for women with dense breast tissue.
Women should start getting mammograms at age 40.
At age 40, women should begin getting a mammogram every year. Though contradicting recommendations were made by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force two years ago, we at Baptist Health have seen a direct benefit and drop in breast cancer deaths when women make an annual mammogram a priority starting at age 40.
Yearly mammograms save lives. If you’re a woman age 40 or older and haven’t gotten your mammogram this year, schedule a screening today.