A Complete Mammography Breast Cancer Guidelines, Why Every Woman Should Know About It ?

Almost every adult woman is encouraged to conduct mammography regularly in her life. First of all, we have to know about what is mammography, Mammography is a breast examination technique to detect and diagnose breast cancer. 

This procedure is especially useful for women who have a family history of breast cancer. So, in what age do women need to have mammography? and how often do they do it? Here's the explanation.

What is the function of mammography?

Mammography function is to detect and diagnose breast problems or diseases, including breast cancer. The faster the mammography is done, the easier cancer to treat and cure.

Conducting Mammography is very important
You have noticed that Mammography cannot prevent breast cancer, but can save lives by detecting cancer as early as possible even if you don't show any symptoms.

What is the mammography for breast cancer detection like?

Mammography is a medical procedure that uses low-dose x-ray to detect growth or abnormal changes in breast tissue, which can indicate the presence of cancer. Basically, a mammogram is an x-ray for the chest.

During the shooting, you may be asked to stand or sit depending on the test facility. Your breasts will be affixed to the X-ray scanner, then a compressor consisting of two plastic plates will push your breasts down to flatten the tissue. This will show the results of a clearer picture of your breast. You may be required to hold your breath every time you take a picture. During a mammogram, you may feel a little pain or discomfort, but it won't last long.

After the procedure is complete, the mammography report will be ready in 30 days. Images taken in the mammography process are called mammograms (see below).
Examples of mammogram results (source: http://guardianlv.com/)

In mammograms, dense breast tissue appears white while low-density fat tissue will look gray. The presence of tumor cells will be shown with white images just like dense breast tissue.

During the procedure, the doctor will check the results of the image displayed on the scanner screen and ask the radiologist to take several additional pictures if the results that already appear are unclear or need further examination. Don't be panic, this is common practice.

What age should mammography start, and how often should it be?

For most women who are not at high risk of breast cancer, regular mammograms do not need to start before the age of 50 years. But if you are not at high risk and still want to be alert, you may choose to undergo mammography for the first time at around 40-44 years of age. If the results are normal, wait until your 50th birthday to get the next mammogram.

What is important to notice, the risk of breast cancer increases according to your age. That is why it is very important for all menopause women to have regular mammography.

The cancer foundation in the United States, The American Cancer Society, recommends that women at risk for breast cancer should have average mammography starting at 45 years old and continue regularly every following year.

Do not forget to consult with the doctor
According to recent research, women aged 45 to 54 years must get a mammography every year. Meanwhile, women aged 55 years or above must conduct mammography every 2 years after their first mammography or can continue screening once a year.

If you have got your first mammogram, screening should be continued as long as you are healthy and are expected to live another 10 years or longer.

Discuss with the doctor for more details

In conclusion, when you want to start a mammogram and want to know how routine it must be for the future is a personal decision between you and your doctor. If you are over 40 years old, please discuss to your doctor when you should start screening mammograms.

Some doctors may recommend starting mammography earlier than 40 years after seeing your risk factors.

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