What Is A Mammogram And How Does It Detect Breast Cancer?
A mammogram is a medical test that uses low-dose x-rays to gather images of the breast tissue to detect breast cancer. There are two types of mammography, screening and diagnostic. It is helpful to know how these procedures work before you go in for one.
The main type of mammography is a digital mammogram. When you get a mammogram, it can be for one of two types of appointments. Screening mammograms are routine and given to women who have no symptoms, a clear history of mammograms for three years, or who have had no abnormalities in need of a follow-up. Diagnostic mammograms are for women who may have had abnormalities that require follow-up or are tracking active concerns.
Most women should start yearly screening mammograms at age 40. Some women require earlier screening if they have risk factors that might increase their chances of having breast cancer. Your doctor can go over these risk factors with you at the time of your annual visit and determine if you need earlier screening.
Monthly breast self-awareness is encouraged. It is important to know how your breasts generally look and feel. If you notice anything unusual, contact your provider for an evaluation.
Both 2D and digital mammography (3D mammography) compress each breast at two angles (top and bottom, and side to side). The way that 3D digital mammography differs is that it moves in an arc around the breast to take many x-rays of more tissue. This allows doctors to catch abnormalities like breast cancer earlier. It has been found that 3D mammography also results in fewer follow-ups, can find more types of cancers, and can be more helpful for women with dense breast tissue.
At Women’s Healthcare Associates in Amarillo, Texas, we have a goal to provide you with one of the best experiences in women’s care. Our Staff offers personal care that focuses on the health and well-being of our patients as individuals.
Our services include exceptional healthcare specialized just for women, prenatal care, digital mammography, bone density screening, ultrasounds, lab work, contraception, menopause treatments, and more. To learn more about how our comprehensive women’s healthcare can help you, please give us a call at (806) 355-6330!
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