A mammogram is basically a non invasive X-RAY tool used for breast examinations. It is very quick medical examination tool that is helpful in early detection and diagnosis of breast diseases in women.
This non invasive radiology technique produces internal pictures of the breasts to detect any abnormality in the tissue. These exams are done with the help of a radiologist/breast health specialist.
Importance of early detection:
Annual mammograms can detect cancer in the early stages — when it is highly treatable. In fact, mammograms show changes in the breast up to two years before a patient or any clinical expert can feel them. That’s why it prevents the need for extensive treatment. Early detection also gives the patients a choice to conserve the breast and avoid removal of the same (mastectomy).
Women should note that they can develop cancerous lumps in the breasts due to various reasons. 9/10 times the lumps are non cancerous. However it is always safer to get the same analysed through a mammogram.
Current guidelines from the American Cancer Society (ACS), the American College of Radiology (ACR) and the Society for Breast Imaging (SBI) recommend that women should undergo annual mammograms starting at the age of 40 — even if they have no symptoms or family history of breast cancer.
ACS, ACR and SBI provide the most widely accepted breast cancer screening guidelines which are proven to save lives.
Recommended guidelines –
- Women aged 40 yrs and older should have a mammogram every year and should continue to do so for as long as they are in good health.
- Current evidences support mammograms. Regular examinations make women feel confident of their health. This makes them positive in their outlook, thereby healing them lead a healthy life.
- Despite their limitations of few false positives and negatives, mammograms are still a very effective and valuable tool for decreasing suffering and death from breast cancer.
- High risk women with positive family history should undergo mammogram at the age of 35 years.
It is estimated that for every 1000 women who had a screening mammogram – 100 are recalled to get more mammography or ultrasound images, 20 are recommended for a needle biopsy and 5 are diagnosed with breast cancer. Prevention is the better than cure, hence opt for a Mammography today, say #YesMamm.