Mammograms are not going to prevent the development of breast cancer but they are going to save your life as they can find breast cancer at an early development stage. During November 2009, the US Preventive Services Task Force made a highly controversial call as it recommended routine screening mammograms to be done for women starting at the age of fifty, as opposed to forty. These were changes that were not adopted all around the world.
Ever since that time, most associations in the world dismissed this and issued really clear guideline stating all women have to be eligible after the age of 40. This is mainly because of the fact that mammography helps to find breast cancer at an early stage. Thanks to the use of the mammography machine, hundreds of thousands of women ended up being saved. If caught early, the localized cancer can properly be removed without having to resort to mastectomy.
When thinking about mammograms, the biggest problem is that they are not at all perfect. The normal breast tissue will sometimes hide breast cancer that does not appear during a mammogram. That is what the false negative result is. A mammography identifies abnormality looking like cancer too, which is what we refer to as false positives. It is obviously worrying to think that you could have breast cancer but if the false positive appears, more tests are necessary, together with extra follow-up visits. This only makes the entire situation more stressful.
While many women think about risks associated with radiation exposure, modern-day options involve just a fraction of the radiation amount of the past machines. Actually, you are exposed to less than when you have a regular chest x-ray taken.
The Most Important Things To Remember About Mammograms
- They Can Possibly Save Your Life – If you find breast cancer at an early stage, dying from cancer risks are reduced by up to 30%. This is why women need to have mammograms right after turning 40 or even earlier in the event there is high risk of having breast cancer.
- Do Not Be Afraid – The mammography is a really fat procedure that only takes around twenty minutes. Discomfort will be minimal and you should know that the procedure is really safe, because of the radiation aspect mentioned above. In order to relieve anxiety associated with waiting for results, consider centers that offer really accurate results and that have high reputation.
- Always Focus On Quality – Digital mammograms are really useful in the event that breasts are dense or you are younger than 50. This is recorded on a computer, allowing the doctor to easily enlarge specific sections for future analysis.
A mammogram can actually save your life but in most situations we see women not knowing much about the procedure. It is something that is really simple and can be carried out in many different clinics from around the world. However, it is important that you never do this without research. You want to contact the best doctors you can afford and you should follow their indications to the letter.