Friday, January 28, 2022

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Mammography is a special form of X-ray study of the breast. It is most often used to screen for and detect cancer. The breast is gently compressed between a pair of plates before the image is taken. This reduces and evens out the thickness of the flesh the X-rays penetrate and improves the quality of the image. The entire process takes only a few minutes.

Most doctors recommended that women have a ‘screening’ mammogram every year or two after age 40. While this is a general rule, beginning age and frequency are best determined by your personal doctor based on your own risk factors. If a screening mammogram indicates possible problems, further ‘diagnostic’ mammograms may be performed. Other studies, including a biopsy, ultrasound studies, or a breast MRI, may also be performed. Each of these gives the doctor further information to improve the quality of their diagnosis.  

If you are called back for further studies after a screening mammogram, it does not always mean you have cancer. In many cases, further studies show that there is no cancer present. The level of sensitivity for screening mammograms is very high so that potential problems can be caught early, and this often results in ‘false positives. Doctors are careful to make sure that anything that might be a problem is tested further to be sure one way or the other.

1) Every woman is at risk for breast cancer

2) One of every 8 women will get breast cancer in her lifetime.

3) Did you know?
  • Most breast cancers occur in women who have no identifiable risk factors.
  • Finding breast cancer early means a greater chance of survival and more options for treatment.
  • Most breast cancer occurs in women with no family history of the disease.

Understand your risk factors

Age- risk increases as you age. About 80 percent of women with breast cancer are over age 50 when diagnosed.

Genetic Mutations - about 10 percent of breast cancer cases are directly related to inherited mutations (changes) in breast cancer related genes

Family history of breast cancer - having one first degree relative (mother, sister or daughter) with breast cancer approximatley doubles a woman's risk. Having two first-degree relatives increases your risk 5-fold. Blood relatives can be from either your mother's or father's side of the family.

Personal history of breast cancer - if you have cancer in one breast, your risk of developing a new cancer in the other breast or another part of the same breast is 3 to 4 times greater than a woman who doesn't have cancer. This is not the same as the recurrence of a first cancer.

Previous breast biopsy - a previous breast biopsy diagnosed as proliferative breast disease without atypia or usual hyperplasia slightly increases breast cancer risk, 1.5. to 2 times. However, a previous breast biopsy of atypical hyperplasia increases breast cancer risk by 4 to 5 times. A diagnosis of fibrocyctic change without proliferative breast disease does not affect risk.

How to prepare for your Mammogram:

Do not wear powder, deodorant or perfume. Wearing of slacks/shorts is recommended. PLEASE bring prior mammogram films, if they are availiable
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