Most women do not necessary look forward to getting a mammogram. It’s an uncomfortable process that can also be embarrassing. It involves putting your breasts through something that you would rather avoid. You may wish new innovations in the world of medicine would make it possible to have something that was more like a regular x-ray. However, the experience can be a positive one when you place yourself in the hands of a caring and competent technician. The most important thing you need to remember is that a mammogram can save your life with early detection of breast cancer.
When Do You Need One?
In the past, the American Cancer Society advised women to get a mammogram starting at the age of 40. In some cases, physicians would even get a baseline mammogram before that point for comparison purposes. However, the US Preventative Services Task Force has changed those recommendations based on extensive research. As a rule of thumb, women can begin their mammograms at the age of 50 and have their scans every two years as opposed to yearly. This is protecting women from too much exposure to the radiation involved in the screening.
What is the Exception to the Rule?
For women who have a family history of breast cancer, these exams are typically advised to begin at the age of 40. This especially holds true if your grandmother, mother, or sister has been a victim of breast cancer. Women who are obese or have other conditions that place them at a higher risk of developing breast cancer may be candidates for mammograms before the age of 50. In some rare instances, it may be recommended to begin regular examinations before the age of 40. If you have gone through one round of breast cancer at a younger age, expect mammograms before the age of 50 to continue to monitor your breasts closely.
Age Doesn’t Matter if a Lump Has Been Found
If you or a member of our medical team finds a lump in your breast, a mammogram is the best way to get a vision of the lump, regardless of age. Further evaluations, such as a biopsy, may be advised in order to arrive at a proper diagnosis. We will discuss these options during your appointment.
Contact Our Office Today
If you have questions about getting a mammogram or your breast health, talk to us today. It is important that you check your breasts on your own to look for any abnormalities as well as schedule regular exams with our medical team. If you ever do find something that concerns you, don’t ignore it. Give our office a call and don’t be afraid to request a mammogram. Following your instincts could help you to save your life. Being proactive with mammograms can give you peace of mind about whatever is going on inside your body. Contact South Lake OB/GYN in Clermont today!