Ladies, your breast health is important so don’t ignore the reminders to get your mammogram for a breast cancer screening. It’s not something anyone looks forward to, but it’s the best tool doctors have for early detection. And when breast cancer is found and treated early, many women are able to live a long and healthy life! We want to share a few things to help a sometimes uncomfortable process become less of a drag. If a mammogram is in your near future, here are a few tips that might make your experience a bit easier.
01 Ask Questions
If it’s your first mammogram or if you’re going to a new mammogram facility, remember to ask questions, this will help ease your mind if you’re nervous! You may want to know what’s involved and how long you’ll need to be there. If you’ve had any previous mammograms, make sure the facility either has those records or has access to retrieve them. It’s good for your medical professionals to see your history.
If you’ve had a major injury or surgery, make sure your healthcare team knows. They may need to take additional x-ray pictures. Injuries and some surgical procedures of the breast can affect your mammogram results.
03 Know Your Breasts
Those self-examinations of your breasts every month are key to detecting ANY changes. You’re the best person to know about any changes in how your breasts look and how they feel. Make sure you talk to your health care team about any changes you’ve noticed or concerns you may have. They’re there to help!
04 Ask About Your Results
Find out when and how you’ll know the results and what they mean. A normal mammogram is what everyone wants to hear but DON’T PANIC if your results are otherwise. There are MANY conditions found on mammograms that are not cancer. An abnormal mammogram means you’ll need further exams or tests if anything abnormal showed up.
05 Know Your Risks
Understand your risks and follow the recommendation of your healthcare provider for how often you should be getting screened. We don’t know what causes breast cancer, but there are factors that influence your risks of developing it. Find out when you should have your next mammogram and SCHEDULE it before you leave!
Among all diseases that kill women age 40 and above, breast cancer ranks as the fifth leading cause at about 40,000 women every year according to the Centers for Disease Control. They also report that approximately 210,000 will be affected (CDC: Mammograms & Breast Health).
If you’re overdue for a mammogram, call your healthcare provider and schedule one today. No, it’s not fun but it’s worth it and it could save your life!