Do women really need mammograms? We might all concur that women with a family history of breast cancer should have annual mammograms because of their higher risk associated with that history. And we would agree that women who have found a lump during their breast self-exam, or have other alarming symptoms need breast cancer screening.
But what about the rest of us? Do we need to set and keep annual mammogram appointments? Let’s look at some information to decide.
Mammograms are able to reveal breast tumors up to two years before those lumps are of the size where you or your physician can feel them. For women aged 40 to 70, the number of deaths from breast cancer has reduced significantly due to the use of mammograms. With the stated goal of mammograms being early detection of breast cancer, so that treatment may be started before the disease has a chance to spread, wouldn’t you agree that mammograms are of distinct value in women’s health care?
Mammograms require very small doses of radiation. The risk of harm from this exposure is extremely low, and the benefits almost always outweigh any potential risks. Let your health care provider and X-ray technician know if there is any possibility that you are pregnant, as any amount of radiation may harm your unborn baby.
Currently mammograms are the best way to detect breast cancer when no symptoms or signs exist. The National Cancer Institute recommends that women age 40 and older should have these breast cancer screenings every one to two years. Women at higher risk should discuss with their doctor about whether to have mammograms before the age of 40 and how often to have them. Mammograms are the most effective way to detect breast cancer early, take only a few seconds to perform, and can help save your life. Women really do need mammograms. Speak with your doctor about scheduling this important procedure for yourself today.
Sumner Regional is offering $75 Mammogram Screenings for the month of October!
For more information, visit us at www.mysumnermedical.com.
Sumner Regional Medical Center
555 Hartsville Pike
Gallatin, Tennessee 37066