National Campaign for Breast Cancer Awareness
Mammograms: Choice or Necessity?
So, what are screening mammograms?
Screening mammogram is an x-ray exam of the breast on a woman who has no symptoms. The goal of a screening mammogram is to find cancer when it is still too small to be felt by a woman or her doctor. Finding small breast cancers early with a screening mammogram greatly improves a woman's chance for successful treatment.
When you have a mammogram, your breast is compressed or squeezed between 2 plates attached to the mammogram machine -- a plastic plate (on top) and an x-ray plate (on the bottom). The technologist compresses your breast to keep it from moving, and to make the layer of breast tissue thinner. These measures reduce the x-ray exposure, reduce blurring, and make the picture sharper.
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 Are Mammograms Painful?
It is definitely painless, but the compression can feel uncomfortable for some women. Anyhow, it only lasts for a few seconds and is needed to get a good picture.
 It is recommended to begin mammograms, for premenopausal women, between 3 and 5 days after the end of a menstrual period to avert the congestion accompanying the menstrual.
It is also advisable to take analgesics an hour before the rays if you already suffer from chronic congestion of your breast.
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Remember, the periodic screening by mammography is the most important and the only test to detect breast cancer early before you or your doctor can detect it.
Therefore, the U.S. and European Oncology and Radiology Institutes have repeatedly recommended performing the periodic screening by mammography, even in the absence of any complaint.
 

The recommendations for screening are as follows:

  • All women aged 50 to 69 should have regular mammograms once every 1-2 years.
  • All women aged 40 to 50 should have regular mammograms every 2 years.
  • All women with a family history of breast cancer will have to undergo mammogram-tests 10 years before the age of breast cancer patient in the family.
  • Mammography is not harmful and there are no side effects because it uses some kind of light rays, so it is less harmful than the X-rays taken at the dentist and it is equal to the amount of radiation emitted from the TV for a month.
Madam, it is your decision to discover the tumor in:
This size
 or that
 


 
 
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