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The Importance of Routine Mammograms

The Importance of Routine Mammograms

The Key to an Early Diagnosis

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the United States and represents 30 percent (or one in three) of all new female cancers each year. While a breast cancer diagnosis can be a scary and emotional experience for many women, early detection is the key to beating breast cancer.

A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast that is used to screen for breast cancer. While mammograms are known for being slightly uncomfortable, they are critical in detecting breast cancer early.

Types of Mammograms

There are two types of mammograms: screening mammograms and diagnostic mammograms. Screening mammograms are used to detect breast cancer in women who have no signs or symptoms of the disease. Diagnostic mammograms are used to check for breast cancer in women who have symptoms such as a lump, pain or nipple discharge.

The American Cancer Society recommends that women, aged 40 and over, have a mammogram every year. Women who are at high risk for breast cancer (such as those with a family history of the disease) may need to have mammograms more often.

Why Mammograms are Vital for Early Detection

Studies show that the average risk of a woman in the United States developing breast cancer sometime in her life is about 13 percent. Many women have breast cancer but are asymptomatic, meaning they have no symptoms to indicate a problem. Mammograms are the best tool we have to detect breast cancer early. Early detection is important because it allows for treatment before cancer has spread.

At-home breast self-exams are critical, but it is important for women to also receive routine mammograms. If you are due for a mammogram, please make an appointment with your doctor.

Regular Health Screenings for Women of All Ages

There are more than 3.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States, including those being treated and those who have completed treatment. Mammograms are a vital tool to help you fight this type of cancer.

Helping our patients lead healthy lives is important to us at Southwest General Medical Group, Inc. That’s why we encourage annual well-woman screenings for early detection of health issues and overall better health. Please visit our website today to learn more and schedule an appointment.