Breast Cancer Screenings
When was your last mammogram? If you're over 40, routine screening is recommended, especially for women with a family history or increased risk. If you've never had a mammogram, you may have questions and concerns. We hope to address many of those below.
What is a mammogram? A mammogram is an X-ray picture of the breast. Doctors use a mammogram to look for early signs of breast cancer. Finding breast cancer early through routine screenings can improve outcomes. Additionally, more women can be treated for breast cancer without a mastectomy (breast removal) if caught early. Mammograms are not perfect; however, research continues to prove their importance in detection.
Important things to know about mammograms
A screening can save your life. Finding breast cancer as early as possible reduces your risk of dying from the disease by 25-30%.
Mammography is a fast procedure (about 20 minutes). If you're anxious or prone to anxiety, we recommend visiting a center that will give provide results the same day.
Quality is important. If available, try to get a digital mammogram. A digital mammogram is recorded onto a computer so that doctors can enlarge certain sections to look at them more closely.
According to the American Cancer Society, about 10% of women (1 in 10) who have a mammogram will require more tests.
Helpful tips for your appointment
Don’t wear deodorant or antiperspirant to your mammogram since these can show up on the film and interfere with the test results.
Try not to have your mammogram the week before your period or during your period. Your breasts may be tender or swollen then and cause discomfort.
You will have to undress from the waist up. We recommend wearing a blouse or top that can be easily removed.
We encourage you to find a physician you can trust and schedule your mammogram as soon as possible. Feel free to contact Hope for the Journey for referrals and general questions, as well as support.