Mammograms and Breast Cancer
Mammograms! The Gold Standard Tool in Screening and Diagnosis of Breast Cancer.
Mammograms don’t prevent breast cancer, but they can save lives by detecting breast cancer as early as possible. They are an important aspect of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which happens annually in October. Breast cancer is among the most common diagnosis in women, and so, women are encouraged to attend Mammography screenings regularly. These screenings and exams are crucial for early detection and treatment.
What Is a Mammogram?
A mammogram is a non-invasive procedure that is used to check for breast cancer in women, even if they have no signs or symptoms of the illness. The screenings involve a series of x-rays of each breast and are good for detecting tumours deep inside the breast tissue that cannot be felt. Mammograms use a very low dose of x-rays, and are used even after cancer has been detected or treated, to make sure that cancer has been removed or is successfully in remission. Early detection of breast cancer that is still in the localized stage has a 5-year survival rate of 99%.
Here are some important facts to know about Mammograms
- Don't be afraid. Mammography is a fast procedure (about 20 minutes), and discomfort is minimal for most women. The procedure is safe: Feeling anxious? Go to a centre that will give you results before you leave.
They can save your life. Finding breast cancer early reduces your risk of dying from the disease by 25-30% or more.
- Get the best quality you can. If you have dense breasts or are under age 50, try to get a digital mammogram. A digital mammogram is recorded onto a computer so that doctors can enlarge certain sections to look at them more closely.
The National Mammogram guidelines for women to follow are:
- All women aged 40 to 44 are given the choice to start annual breast cancer screening if they wish to do so.
- Women aged 45 to 55 have access to breast cancer screening every year
- Women over 55 should get screened every 2 years
- All women should have access to accurate and up-to-date information about breast cancer and associated risks and prevention.
Ladies, Check Yourself and make the appointment!
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.
Cancer doesn’t care, so you must.