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breast cancer breast cancer awareness

What You Need to Know about Mammograms

I turned 40 last year and I still haven’t scheduled my first mammogram. It is of course on my list of must dos, finding the time is what I am always struggling with but most of all I’m SCARED. Not only because of the results but I’m totally afraid of the process and how much it will hurt. So of course I did my research and I always share what I learn with you.

But first a funny.

mammogram

Here is some great information from the National Cancer Institute

What is a mammogram? A mammogram is an x-ray picture of the breast.Mammograms can be used to check for breast cancer in women who have no signs or symptoms of the disease. This type of mammogram is called a screening mammogram. Screening mammograms usually involve two x-ray pictures, or images, of each breast. The x-ray images make it possible to detect tumors that cannot be felt. Screening mammograms can also find microcalcifications (tiny deposits of calcium) that sometimes indicate the presence of breast cancer.

Mammograms can also be used to check for breast cancer after a lump or other sign or symptom of the disease has been found. This type of mammogram is called a diagnostic mammogram. Besides a lump, signs of breast cancer can include breast pain, thickening of the skin of the breast, nipple discharge, or a change in breast size or shape; however, these signs may also be signs of benign conditions. A diagnostic mammogram can also be used to evaluate changes found during a screening mammogram or to view breast tissue when it is difficult to obtain a screening mammogram because of special circumstances, such as the presence of breast implants.

While watching the news last night I found out that the American Cancer Society put out a new Breast Cancer Guideline. Instead of age 40 women should now have a mammogram at age 45. They say women of average risk of breast cancer can wait until they’re 45 to have a first mammogram and should have them every year until age 55, and then start having them every other year. Remember this is for women of average risk, meaning not women who have cancer in their family. Check out this report from NBC News.

I plan to schedule my appointment as soon as possible… because I am at high risk of breast cancer. Have you had a mammogram yet? If so feel free to share you story with us.

Until next time…

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