Make Time for Your Mammogram

We all feel that there just aren’t enough hours in the day for our busy schedules. But the last thing that should be neglected is your breast health. One out of every eight women will develop breast cancer* in their life, and mammograms are the most effective form of early detection. Protect yourself with regular mammograms.

The American Cancer Society recommends starting annual mammograms at age 40 and continuing as long as a woman is in good health. A woman should become familiar with how her breasts normally look and feel so she can contact her doctor if there are any changes. A small percentage (less than 2 percent) of women should also be screened with an MRI, due to their family history, a genetic tendency, or other factors.

There are two types of mammograms:

  • Screening mammogram. A screening mammogram is an X-ray of the breast used to detect breast changes in women who have no signs or symptoms of breast cancer. It usually involves 2 X-rays of each breast. Using a mammogram, it is possible to detect a tumor that cannot be felt.
  • Diagnostic mammogram. A diagnostic mammogram is an X-ray of the breast used to diagnose unusual breast changes, such as a lump, pain, nipple thickening or discharge, or a change in breast size or shape.