What You Should Know About Mammograms

What You Should Know About MammogramsMany women are afraid of mammograms, but having one is definitely worthwhile. In fact, it can even save a woman’s life. If the test is normal, you will feel better knowing that you are OK. If however; there is a problem, it is better to know early. Regular mammograms can detect breast cancer BEFORE it spreads. Treatment works best when the cancer is found early.

When should I have a mammogram?

Starting at age 40 women should have a mammogram every 1-2 years. If you feel a lump, see or have questions about anything unusual in your breast, contact your health care provider.

Make an appointment to see your Doctor for a mammogram if you fall under any of these categories that pose a higher risk.

  • Your Mother OR sister has/had breast cancer
  • You have Jewish ancestors from Eastern Europe (A certain gene is carried among this group)
  • You had your first menstrual period before age 12
  • You NEVER had children OR you had your first child after age 30
  • You had radiation treatments to your chest area
  • You have a lump, nipple, discharge, breast pain or dimpling of skin on the breast

How do I get ready for my mammogram?

  • Make the appointment for 1 week after your period, when the breasts are less sensitive.
  • Wear a shirt with shorts, pants or skirt This makes it easier to undress from the waist up.
  • Do not wear deodorant, perfume lotion or powder under arms or on your breasts on the day of your appointment These products make shadows on the mammogram.

Breast cancer is NOT a death sentence when detected early. Detection at later stages may be managed with all new technologies and treatment available. It is never too late to be evaluated and undergo treatment. There is life after the diagnosis.  FACE YOUR FEAR and TAKE CHARGE!

Information provided by Care First – Blue Cross BlueShield www.carefirst.com

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