Whenever you really feel wholesome, it’s tempting to delay annual checkups and screenings. No signs imply no considerations, proper?
Sadly, we all know that underlying medical circumstances typically go undetected for too lengthy with out common preventive care. Even with the busiest schedule, your well being ought to at all times be a precedence.
“Breast most cancers is the second-leading reason behind most cancers dying in ladies within the U.S.,” stated Craig Field, MD, surgical oncologist and medical director of the Edna Owens Breast Middle. “Annual mammograms are the top-recommended screening for girls as a result of they permit the earliest attainable detection of breast most cancers, even earlier than you expertise signs.”
The important thing to lifesaving early detection
A mammogram is such a robust instrument due to its capacity to catch breast most cancers early. In actual fact, it will probably detect breast most cancers as much as two years earlier than a tumor might be felt by you or your physician.
Catching most cancers early means:
♦ Therapies like breast conservation remedy can be handiest
♦ Remedy can start early, probably earlier than most cancers spreads to different elements of your physique
♦ You’ll have the absolute best probability for a treatment
Many ladies with breast most cancers don’t have any signs. In accordance with the American Most cancers Society, many many years of analysis present ladies who’ve common mammograms usually tend to have breast most cancers discovered early, are much less more likely to want aggressive remedy like surgical procedure or chemotherapy and usually tend to be cured.
Screening vs. diagnostic mammograms
Mammography makes use of X-rays to take photographs of your breasts. Screening mammograms and diagnostic mammograms use the identical tools and procedures; they differ within the quantity and sort of photographs made.
Screening mammograms are for girls who don’t have any indicators of breast most cancers resembling a lump, ache or change in breast measurement or form. These easy appointments are sometimes full in 30 minutes or much less. Breast cancers discovered throughout screening exams usually tend to be smaller and nonetheless confined to the breast.
Diagnostic mammograms are prescribed when a screening mammogram exhibits an space of concern. They take extra detailed photographs from totally different angles to assist your care workforce take advantage of correct prognosis.
Screening in the event you’re high-risk
In case your danger for breast most cancers is larger than common, your care workforce might suggest further screenings that embrace magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound. Though these might be mixed with a mammogram, they don’t seem to be a substitute.
As an alternative of X-rays, an MRI scan makes use of a magnetic area to make photographs. Though an MRI can discover breast most cancers that mammography misses, it doesn’t discover all breast cancers. An MRI is efficient for girls whose well being historical past consists of:
♦ BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation
♦ Rapid member of the family — mom, sister or baby — with BRCA1 or BRCA2
♦ Radiation remedy to the chest between ages 10 and 30
This examination makes use of sound waves to make a picture. Girls who’re pregnant or at very excessive danger for breast most cancers, and who can’t have an MRI or be uncovered to X-rays, can profit from an ultrasound. It’s additionally higher at discovering breast cancers in ladies who’ve dense breast tissue, which is tougher to diagnose utilizing mammography.
Know your danger
It’s vital to know your danger for breast most cancers. Some danger elements you’ll be able to management, like your weight and way of life. Others you’ll be able to’t, together with:
♦ Density of breast tissue
♦ Household historical past of breast most cancers
♦ First menstrual interval earlier than age 12
♦ Genetic mutations BRCA1 and BRCA2
♦ Historical past of fibroids or different benign breast circumstances
“Our breast most cancers screenings are targeted on defending our sufferers’ complete well being,” stated Dr. Field. “Whenever you perceive the breast most cancers danger elements you’ll be able to management, you’ll be able to handle them higher with the assistance of your physicians.”
When you’re between the ages of 20 and 40, it’s best to have a medical breast examination by your physician a minimum of each three years. When you’re 40 or older, an annual screening mammogram could also be really useful by your physician.
When you haven’t had a mammogram up to now yr and also you’re over age 40 with no irregular signs, you’ll be able to self-refer for a screening mammogram.