A Mammogram – or x-ray of your breast tissue – is one of the most economic examinations available for detecting early stages of breast cancer. Although Mammography is the most accurate method for early detection, not all cancers are found through Mammograms alone. Therefore, your Mammogram, an annual physical by your doctor, and your monthly (BSE) Breast Self-Examination work together to find changes or abnormalities.
What a mammogram detects:
- Abnormalities in breast tissue
- Calcium buildup
- Lumps of fatty cells
Mammography is a trusted way to understand what could potentially bring on health issues in the breasts. While calcification and fatty cells are not problematic, it is important to receive a diagnosis from the doctor who will analyze the areas in which these are found. This procedure will help your doctor understand your condition and prevent more severe complications.
Around 5-10% of breast cancer is a direct result of genetic mutations passed on from a parent. Typically, hereditary breast cancer is an inherited mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene. Women with one of these mutations are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer under the age of 40. Additionally, these gene mutations may lead to the development of cancer in both breasts.
What should I expect?
Mammography machines require a slight compression; this helps make the breast more uniform in thickness, and decrease the amount of x-ray you receive. It also helps the Doctor reading your Mammogram see differences in the breast tissue that would be missed without compressing the breast.
How old should I be to have my first Mammogram?
The recommended age for a baseline Mammogram is 35 years of age. Women who have turned 40 years of age should plan on annual Mammograms.
How long does it take?
From the time you enter one of our imaging centers to the completion of your Mammogram you should plan on a minimum of a half hour. Women with implants should allow an hour for the appointment.
I’m 65 years old. Can I stop having Mammograms?
The risk of developing breast cancer increases with age. Therefore, annual screening for early detection of cancer is important to your ongoing health.
For women who are under 40 years old, there are precautions and safety measures we recommend to ensure optimal breast health. For example, younger women should be self-examining their breasts to feel for lumps. Additionally, we recommend recording any other changes to the breasts and speaking with the staff at ImageCare Centers about these changes. This may include:
- Nipple discharge
- Focal pain
- Skin changes
If you are under the age of 40 and you have a genetic predisposition to breast cancer, visit ImageCare Centers to receive expert care and attention from our staff. Record and report any changes to your breasts to our doctors so we can better understand your case and take care of your health from there.
Call to book your appointment for a 3D mammogram with ImageCare Centers today.