The early detection of breast cancer significantly improves a patient’s likelihood of survival, and a mammogram is the most accurate way to find cancerous cells in the breast. Yet, many women forgo their yearly screening because they believe a mammogram will hurt, they fear cancer will be found or they simply don’t think they have time for an appointment.
In reality, mammogram discomfort is minimal, it’s imperative that any present cancer be discovered as soon as possible and a mammogram appointment is typically over in 30 minutes or less. Women who perform monthly breast self-exams, get a yearly breast exam from a physician and get a yearly mammogram drastically increase their chances of surviving breast cancer by up to 97 percent.
What is a Mammogram
A mammogram is a low-dose, x-ray scan of breast tissue that allows physicians to detect potentially-cancerous cells. Mammograms can detect cancer extremely early, before a lump is felt or any other signs are noticed.
Types of Mammograms
Baptist Health offers two different types of mammograms, the digital mammogram and the 3D mammogram. The digital mammogram uses two plates to flatten the breast, spread the tissue and take electronic images of the entire breast. The images are then digitally transferred to a computer, where they can be studied by the physician and stored for later reference.
A 3D mammogram compresses the breast and takes a series of pictures as it moves over the tissue, creating a 3D image. This cutting-edge screening produces a clearer image of the breast, and increases cancer detection rates by 20-30%. The clearer picture found in a 3D mammogram also decreases the need for subsequent appointments for many women. Those with dense breast tissue are most likely to benefit from a 3D mammogram.
Where to Schedule an Appointment
Making time for a mammogram may seem like a chore, but Baptist Health has several locations that offer mammograms to make getting a yearly screening easy and convenient for women across Arkansas. If you’re age 40 or older and haven’t had your mammogram this year, reach out to the clinic closest to you and schedule an appointment.