Prevention is better than cure; this line has been said countless times and is still true today. Most people think prevention means things like taking care of your body, living a healthy lifestyle, and maintaining a proper diet. However, it does not end there.
Early detection can also be a form of precaution, especially for medical conditions such as breast cancer. Diagnosis during the preliminary stages can increase your chances of beating breast cancer.
Read on to know how getting a mammogram can help women get an early diagnosis when treatment is more likely to be successful.
WHAT IS A MAMMOGRAM?
A mammogram is an imaging test that aims to detect the early signs of breast cancer using a low-dose X-ray system. After detection, you and your doctor can work together, so cancer won’t progress.
During the procedure, you are placed in front of an X-ray machine. A doctor or technician may assist you in positioning your breasts on the mammography unit with your consent. Your breasts will be pressed flat for the scan, and you may experience some discomfort or pain due to the pressure.
The following are the different kinds of mammograms:
- Digital Mammogram – This type of mammography is used to evaluate abnormalities in a patient’s clinical findings. The X-rays are converted into breast pictures.
- Computer-Aided Detection (CAD) – This is a kind of system that signals areas that may have a lump or abnormality in terms of density.
- 3D Mammogram – This mammogram is called breast tomosynthesis. It captures multiple angles of breast images sliced in different parts for a better view.
BENEFITS OF A 3D MAMMOGRAM
A 3D mammography offers imaging of the different breast tissues, which can help prevent overlapping views of the tissue for a clearer perspective. This type of mammography also uses a lower radiation dosage. A 3D mammogram can also be the best option for women with dense breasts since cancer detection using traditional tests is more difficult.
A 3D mammogram offers you the following benefits:
- Detection of breast cancer that may not appear to be visible with traditional mammograms.
- Requires fewer additional tests.
- Higher chance of diagnosing multiple tumors.
- Improved accuracy in abnormality detection, and therefore, better diagnosis.
WHEN SHOULD I START GETTING A MAMMOGRAM?
According to the American Cancer Society, here are the guidelines you should follow:
- Women ages 40 to 44: You may have your annual mammogram and cancer screening check-ups if you wish to.
- Women ages 45 to 54: You are encouraged to have your annual mammogram check-ups.
- Women ages 55 above: You may opt to change from annual screenings to mammogram check-ups every 2 years. However, you may still continue having annual check-ups.
You may continue your screening as long as you are fit for it. You should also consider getting annual mammograms if you have a family history of the disease.
HOW DO I PREPARE FOR A 3D MAMMOGRAM?
Know Who Offers 3D Mammograms
Since a 3D mammogram is a fairly new imaging test, it is possible that not every clinic will have it available. It’s best to ask your doctor for referrals or look for clinics that offer 3D mammography.
Know When to Schedule It
It’s best to have your appointment done a week after your menstruation. During this period, your breasts are typically less tender, which makes them a better fit for a mammogram.
Bring Your Old Mammograms
If this is not your first mammogram, bring your old images with you. They can serve as a comparison for the new result.
Know What to Avoid
When undergoing a mammogram, ensure that you are not wearing any antiperspirants, powders, lotions, creams, or perfumes under your arms or in your breast area. As they may contain metals, these products may affect the imaging.
MAMMOGRAPHY SERVICES IN WOOSTER, OHIO
Mammograms are valuable diagnostic tools to detect signs of breast cancer. It’s particularly important for women ages 40 and up to have regular mammogram screenings. Detecting breast cancer early means that you can treat it sooner and more effectively.
If you are in Ohio and need a mammogram, you might want to check out the Wooster Community Hospital. Our Women’s Specialty Center offers quality medical services and care for women of all ages.
To know more about our services, you may contact us at (330) 263-8100 or (330) 263-8144. To schedule an appointment, you can contact us at (330) 263-8660. We have eight locations in Ohio for your convenience. We look forward to being your partner in health!