Why You Need to Schedule Your Yearly Mammogram?
Mammography is the most accurate method of breast cancer detection. Yearly mammograms can detect breast cancer before a lump is large enough to be felt in a breast exam. This reason alone is why you need to schedule your yearly mammogram.
According to the Affordable Care Act, screening for breast cancer by mammography in average-risk women should take place no earlier than age 40 and no later than age 50. Screening should continue through at least age 74. Age alone should not be the basis to discontinue screening. Therefore, regular mammograms and breast exams increase your breast cancer survival rate.
Don’t Keep Putting this Exam Off!
Here are some reasons why you should schedule it as soon as you can.
1. Monthly breast self-exam, annual breast exam performed by a provider, and an annual mammogram can increase your chances of surviving breast cancer by 97 percent, should you ever develop the disease.
2. Mammograms do not take much time at all – typically 30 minutes. The pain and discomfort of having a mammogram done are minimal. During a mammogram, the breast is compressed so please go in knowing that this can be slightly uncomfortable. A great tip is to avoid scheduling your screening the week before your period when breasts may be swollen or tender.
Mammograms can save your life!
3. At scheduling find out if they are using 2D or 3D imaging. A 2D mammogram uses two plates to flatten and spread the breast tissue and then takes an electronic image of the breast. The image is then transferred to a computer where your provider can look for any areas of concern. A 3D mammogram compresses the breast and then takes a series of pictures as it moves over the tissue to create a 3D image. 3D mammograms produce a clearer picture and are often preferred for women with dense breast tissue. 3D mammograms can detect up to 40 percent more cancers than 2D mammograms. Your objective should be to get the best quality imaging you can under your health insurance coverage.
4. Remain diligent in getting your Mammograms done, especially as you age. If you had a mammogram done at a different facility, please make sure you have those films sent to the new facility. They need to compare these to your new imaging. If you find a facility you like, be loyal and continue to go there every year so that your mammograms can be compared from year to year.
5. Encourage the women you love to get their annual Mammograms! If you are nervous about going alone, bring a friend or family member to go with you. Booking your appointment together will not only reduce some of the stress, but it will also help you both feel supported and empowered. If you have a buddy with you, this also keeps your body at ease or in a relaxed state. When you’re anxious, your shoulders drive up and that makes it harder to position breast tissue.
We can’t emphasize enough to get this test done annually. Even if you have no family history of breast cancer or have any symptoms it is essential to get this test done. Again, you’re worried about the expense and you don’t have insurance, several national breast cancer organizations sponsor low-cost or free mammogram programs for eligible women. You can call the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345 to inquire about programs near you.