Let’s begin by defining a breast cancer screening. A screening means that there are no issues with your breast and its purpose is to rule out any unknown problems. Now here are some common FAQs on breast cancer screening.
When Should Young Women Begin Screening Or Do Self Exams?
Young women should begin having yearly exams at their gynecologist’s office starting at age 18.
You should do your own self exam monthly at the end of your menstrual period when your breasts are less tender. No one knows your breasts better than you do, so report any changes to Southwest Diagnostic Imaging Center like a lump, swelling, nipple inversion, or nipple discharge.
Do I Really Need A Mammogram? Can’t I Have An MRI Instead?
The mortality rate from breast cancer has decreased 30% since mammograms became the standard screening test 30 years ago. This is largely due to its ability to find cancer in its early stages, and therefore it is more likely to be treatable.
Other tests like an MRI or an ultrasound can be used, but only in conjunction with a mammogram. For women with a high risk for breast cancer, the other tests might be offered.
Women with dense breasts may get a mammogram plus an ultrasound for additional information.
Can I Be Hurt By The Radiation From A Mammogram?
No, because the radiation from a mammogram is about the same amount we encounter every day from buildings, food, or just the atmosphere.
Must I Get A Mammogram If I Have No Family History Of Breast Cancer?
75% of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history. Get screened starting at age forty or earlier depending on your risk factors. One in six of all women are diagnosed in their forties. Don’t take the chance.
What Should I Expect At My First Mammogram?
Expect to undress above the waist. You will be given a covering to wear during the screening. Wear no deodorant or tell the technologist if you did, and they will give you a towelette to remove it.
There will only be you and the technologist in the room. Expect that your breasts will be flattened between the plates, but it shouldn’t hurt. There may be a bit of discomfort, but it will only last for a few seconds.
The process should take about 20 minutes with 2 pictures of each breast taken.
Contact Southwest Diagnostic Imaging Center with any other questions about breast screenings or if you have noticed a change to one of your breasts.
As always, if you have any further questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call (214) 345-6905 today!