One of the most important screenings women can get is a breast exam. Getting screened for breast cancer and attending your regular mammograms can make a huge difference in the longevity of your overall health. Breast cancer impacts roughly 1 in 8 women and can drastically impact your life. Breast cancer impacts more than just your physical health as it can cause emotional and financial burdens as well. One of the best ways to maintain your health is to get screened regularly. Below you will find a quick breast cancer screening guide that can help you feel more comfortable going to your first appointment.
Quick Breast Cancer Screening Guide
One of the biggest issues women have when it comes to breast exams is figuring out when they should start. It’s important to note that if you are someone who is high risk for breast cancer, this may not apply to you. Talk directly with your doctor about when and how often you should get your breast screenings. Below you will find information on when you should get screened if you are of average risk for breast cancer.
- All Women: Starting from the age of 20 you should be performing monthly self-breast exams. It’s great to start early and do the exams regularly as you will be more familiar with your natural breast size, shape, and structure. This familiarity can help ensure that you notice when anything has changed.
- Women Aged 25 to 40: It is suggested that women between these ages should get a clinical breast exam on an annual basis. If you have dense breast tissue, your doctor may require an ultrasound.
- Women 40 and Above: In addition to an annual clinical breast exam, women 40 and over should also get an annual mammogram.
Risk Factors for Breast Cancer
It was mentioned above that those of average risk of breast cancer should follow the age guidelines for when and how often they should get a breast exam. Below you will find the risk factors that place you at an average risk for breast cancer. Again, if you are concerned you are more than average risk, contact your doctor to determine what is right for you.
One factor includes no immediate symptoms of breast cancer. This includes things such as a lump in your breast or on your underarm, thickening or swelling, dimpled skin, redness or flaky skin near your nipple, and/or nipple discharge. While this is not a comprehensive list, these are some of the most common symptoms.
Personal Medical History:
You are of average risk for breast cancer if you have no history of breast cancer, ductal or lobular carcinoma in situ (abnormal cells), atypia (benign breast disease), mantle radiation, and no evidence of any hereditary syndrome.
Family Medical History:
Your family history is important as you are of average risk if you have not had a close family member with breast cancer. Close family members include a parent, sibling, or child.
Maybe you haven’t had your first mammogram appointment. Then it’s important to talk with your doctor about when you should set your first appointment. If you have had an appointment and your results came back abnormal, you will need to set a diagnostic mammogram. Diagnostic mammography further assesses an abnormality discovered during a mammogram, clinical exam, or even abnormal symptoms. These are extremely helpful in understanding the root cause of the abnormality.
Mammograms in Houston
If it’s time for you to schedule a mammogram appointment, contact Pink Door Imaging. Dr. Mahesh Shetty has decades of experience in women’s health, including mammograms in Houston. Pink Door Imaging offers an integrated approach to women’s health and works mindfully of patient anxiety and fears. Their goal is to educate, relieve any patient anxiety, and guide patient’s in making the best decision for them no matter what their health issue is. Contact Pink Door Imaging today for an appointment!