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InterView Magazine

The very best reasons for any woman to get a mammogram are the people who love her. Statistics show that one in eight women will get breast cancer in their lifetime. Regular mammograms are important because they can detect breast cancer early, when it is most treatable.

Mammography is an X-ray of the breast, which is performed by compressing the breast between an X-ray plate and a plastic plate. This spreads the breast tissue apart, helping ensure minimal movement and a sharper image.

There are two types of mammograms, “screening” or “diagnostic.” Screening mammograms are used to look for cancer in women who are symptom free. Diagnostic mammograms are those done on women who have lumps or other symptoms.

1 The American Cancer Society recommends that all women, age 40 and older, should get an annual screening mammogram.

2 Studies have shown that mammography is the only method of screening for breast cancer that saves lives.

3 Mammograms can find cancers in early stages—nearly one-to-three years before you could actually feel a lump in your breast—which greatly improves a woman’s chance for successful treatment.

4 A woman’s risk of breast cancer increases with age.

5 Regular mammograms give radiologists a basis for comparison, which helps doctors find small changes in breast tissue and thus cancers are detected as early as possible.

6 Although mammograms can be uncomfortable for some women, the entire procedure takes only about 20 minutes. It’s also important to know that the radiation exposure of a mammogram is no more than the amount experienced from several trips on an airplane. So, while a mammogram may be something that’s easy to put off, there are plenty of great reasons to talk to your physician about your next mammogram.
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