Aside from skin cancers, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United states, and is the second leading cause of cancer deaths. Each year, about 30% of all new female cancer diagnoses are breast cancer. Early detection of breast cancer can increase the likelihood of successful treatment, tremendously. The American Cancer Society recommends the following for screening:
- Women between 40 and 45 have the option to start getting a mammogram every year
- Women between 45 and 54 should get a mammogram every year
- Women 55 and older can continue to get a mammogram every year or switch to getting one every other year. Screening should continue as long as you are in good health.
What is a mammogram?
A mammogram is an x-ray picture of the breasts that is used to find early signs of breast cancer. During a mammogram, the breasts are placed on top of a plastic plate, and another plastic plate flattens the breasts from above. The plates will hold the breasts in place while the x-ray is taken, which only lasts a few moments. Your x-ray image will be sent to a radiology team who reads the image, and delivers back your results within a few weeks. Regular mammograms are the best way to catch breast cancer early – they can detect breast cancer up to three years before it can be felt.
If you have questions about mammograms or when to get screened, talk with your provider today!