Mammograms are tests that screen for abnormalities in breast tissue that may or may not be cancerous. The images created during a mammogram include x-rays of the breast tissue at different angles, ensuring your doctor has a detailed and effective look at any calcifications or masses. If these abnormalities are found, further testing may be necessary. While the mammogram is common, most people do not fully understand the test. By de"boob"ing these common myths, you will have a better understanding of the mammogram and what to expect during your upcoming appointment.
If you have had a friend or family member undergo a mammogram recently, they may have stated how much the screening hurt. Fortunately, this is a myth because mammograms do not actually hurt.
Of course, it is important to note that mammograms will cause some discomfort due to the pressure involved, but this pressure should not be considered painful. To understand this, you must understand the screening procedure.
To get started, one breast at a time is placed on a paddle and then compressed. Each breast is compressed for a few minutes. The compression is essential to view the breast tissue in the clearest and most concise manner possible, so your doctor can determine if you have any abnormalities that need to be addressed.
If you are worried about potential pain, remain calm and take a few breaths. This will help focus your attention away from the pressure.
Mammograms Only Needed After Turning 40
Another common misconception people believe is that mammograms are only necessary after you turn 40 years old. This myth may or may not be true depending on your specific circumstances.
The American Cancer Society offers a list of recommendations for women, because they believe early detection is key to saving lives if diagnosed with breast cancer.
If you are between the ages of 40 and 44, you can choose to have a mammogram whether you have any breast abnormalities. Once you reach the age of 45, you should undergo the screening each year.
On the other hand, if you have a lump, a history of cancer, or a close family member who has had breast cancer, you should undergo a mammogram no matter what your age is.
Breast cancer is a serious disease that deserves early screenings. Thankfully, a mammogram offers the best option for early detection. To learn more about the benefits and process of a mammogram, contact your doctor and radiologist today. The professionals at Elkview General Hospital can offer more information.
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