One of the most important imaging tools physicians have at their disposal is a mammogram. They have become vitally important because they save lives. They are so important we now can get one on a mobile mammography bus. Important enough that it’s women’s healthcare practically coming to your door, but why are routine mammograms so important?
Less Breast Cancer Related Deaths With Routine Mammograms
Since 1990 breast cancer deaths have been reduced by 30% due to women having routine screenings.
Finds Breast Cancer Early
Early detection of breast cancer is more easily treated, gives you more treatment options, and a better opportunity for long-term survival. There is a 98% survival rate when the cancer is localized and found early. Once cancer has spread to other parts of the body, the five year survival rate drops to 25%.
A Mammogram Can Detect Cancer Before You Feel A Lump
If early detection is the key to survival as noted above, getting routine mammograms is simply a “no brainer”.
A Mammogram Is A Simple Screening Test
You can get a mammogram on your lunch break. No downtime, and virtually no discomfort. You may feel a pinch for a moment, but the entire process takes less than 20 minutes. No excuses.
Don’t Rely On Family History
Don’t think just because you have no family members who had breast cancer that you don’t need routine screenings. You can still get breast cancer!
In fact, 75-85% of women diagnosed with breast cancer had no family history or other risk factors.
Risk Of Breast Cancer Increases With Age
It is recommended that women with no unusual risk factors begin to have mammogram screenings at age 40. They should continue having tests annually until age 70. Women between the ages of 70 and 74 should have a screening every 2 years if they are in good health. After age 75, talk with your doctor about the value of continuing.
If you have compromised health problems and have questions about how often you should have a mammogram, contact South Bay OBGYN.