Some important details concerning mammograms that you should know.

By Charlotte Miller

A mammogram is a type of examination that creates a film picture of the breast. A mammography is a diagnostic tool for detecting breast cancer and observing normal and abnormal breast tissue. Because of this, mammography can aid in the detection of breast cancers, calcifications, and cysts. Presently, it is the most effective screening tool for detecting breast cancer at an early stage. Breast cancers not identified by mammography are frequently diagnosed during routine physical examinations.

Is there any discomfort during a mammogram?

If you’ve ever had a mammogram, you know that the breasts are compressed between two panels during the procedure. One panel is flat and hard, and mild but strong pressure is delivered to the breast with it. It’s possible that this might cause some brief discomfort.

What are the recommended screening intervals for breast cancer, and at what age should I get my first mammogram?

Many groups have contradictory guidelines for when and how often women should have mammograms.

The American Cancer Society suggests that women start getting mammograms at the age of 45, with annual screenings until the age of 54 and thereafter every two years.

Beginning at age 50 and continuing to age 74, mammograms are recommended every other year by the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).

Regular mammograms are advised beginning at age 40, as suggested by both the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American College of Radiology. Women who have a higher-than-average chance of developing breast cancer may need to start getting a Boise mammogram earlier and more frequently than is now recommended.

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How dangerous is having a mammogram done?

X-ray operations include a little but real danger of radiation sickness for the patient. Mammography is safe because the little quantity of radiation used is sanctioned by national and international regulatory authorities including the United States Department of Health and Human Services. When compared to the usual radiation dose one would receive on a transcontinental jet flight, the amount of radiation from a mammography is far lower. Patients who are or may be pregnant should inform their requesting physician and the radiology personnel, as radiation exposure can harm an unborn child.

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