Mammogram screening is an imaging procedure performed on women to ensure that the breasts are healthy, and that no growth or abnormalities are present. It is an effective tool for the early detection of breast cancer in women.
If you have never undergone breast imaging examination before, or you’re still undecided about whether or not to have the screening, here are a few things that could help you finally decide to not only have your first screening, but more importantly, to make it a yearly routine.
- The recommended age to start yearly mammogram screening is 40. While the medical field is still debating about the actual age when a woman should undergo screening annually, the general consensus is to have it yearly once they reach the age of 40. If anything, you will have a point of comparison for future screenings.
- Screening versus diagnostic mammogram. There is a difference between mammogram screening and diagnostic mammogram. In brief, screening is part of a routine check-up to see if the tissue has changed or if any abnormal areas are detected. Diagnostic mammography is ordered to investigate a specific problem or area – for example, to look more closely at an area flagged on screening mammogram, investigate a lump felt by a doctor or patient, or to look into an area that is causing pain.
Additionally, the focus of the mammogram is on the area recommended by the doctor—the suspicious area.
- Radiation from the mammogram procedure is safe. One of the most common factors that make women hesitant about undergoing a yearly mammogram screening is exposure to radiation. The level of exposure in a mammography is equivalent to radiation levels on an international flight. Also, radiation exposure in mammography is lower compared to a CT scan. It is estimated that you would need at least one hundred mammogram screenings to have a level of exposure that is equivalent to one CT scan.
Mammography is safe, and when done regularly (once a year starting at 40 years old as recommended), it can catch breast cancer in its early stages, thereby allowing for timely and immediate treatment before the cancer cells start reproducing or spreading to other parts of the body.
To schedule a mammogram screening at Bedford Breast Center, we encourage you to give us a call at (866) 229-8807. To schedule your screening online, please click here.