Mammograms are an integral part of your women’s health journey. For many women, they are the best way to find breast cancer early, which makes it much easier to treat. Getting your regular mammograms can lower your risk of death from breast cancer. Most women get their first mammogram around the age of 40, but those at a higher risk are screened earlier. Despite the major benefits, there are some limitations of mammograms. Below you will find more information on how to ensure your breast health is in good shape for the long run.
The Benefits of Mammograms
A mammogram is an X-ray of your breast tissue. It’s important to talk with your women’s health provider about when and how often you should be getting a mammogram. Women often get their first mammogram at 40. However, if you are at a higher risk for breast cancer, you’ll likely need to get screened earlier. Factors that may put you in a higher risk category include a family history of breast cancer. Medical providers often recommend getting screened 10 years before the age the close family member was when they received their diagnosis.
Mammograms are a really helpful tool for medical providers when it comes to women’s health. Below are some of the major benefits of regularly attending your mammogram appointments.
- Life-Saving: Mammograms can save your life as early detection reduces your risk of dying from breast cancer by 25 to 30%. This is major as breast cancer impacts 1 in 8 women in America.
- Quick and Easy: There is a lot of misinformation when it comes to mammograms. They are really fast and usually not more than 20 minutes. They are also super easy as you don’t have to do much preparation.
- Annual Exam: Depending on your age you only need to get a mammogram once a year. This drops to once every other year after you turn 55 as long as you are of average risk.
Limitations of Mammograms
Despite mammograms being a highly important part of women’s health, there are limitations to the exam. They are currently the best breast cancer screening test, but they are not always 100% accurate. In fact, false-negative results can occur. Women with dense breasts are more likely to get false negatives. This can give someone a false sense of security so it’s important to get a second opinion consultation for breast health. A second opinion can help give you the relief you need when it comes to your breast health.
Mammograms can also result in a false-positive which can cause a lot of fear and anxiety. A false-positive mammogram looks abnormal despite cancer not being present. If your mammogram comes back with abnormal results, you’ll need additional testing. False-positive results are common among women who have dense breasts, have breast cancer in their family, are currently taking estrogen, have had breast biopsies, and are younger.
For most women mammograms are helpful and can be a life-saving screening. However, they may not be the only test you should get. This is why it’s important to talk with your medical provider about what is right for you based on your unique health history, family history, age, and other health-related factors.
Breast Cancer Screening in Houston
If you need breast cancer screening in Houston, contact Dr. Mahesh K. Shetty at Pink Door Imaging. They offer breast and gynecological imaging services, including second opinions. Their second opinion consultations are available for patients who have undergone imaging and received results that they would like reviewed by an additional medical professional.
Pink Door Imaging offers second opinions on breast ultrasound exams, diagnostic mammography exams, 3D digital screening mammography exams, gynecological ultrasound exams, pelvic MRIs, and abdominal and pelvic CT scans. Contact their office today for an appointment!