It’s easy to get off track with your regular mammograms. Busy schedules, work deadlines, kids’ activities, and other priorities can push routine wellness exams down to the bottom of your to-do list.
We get it.
But we also know mammograms are the best way to catch breast cancer early. Because October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Dr. Anju Nayar and our Nova Women’s Health team want to spread the word about the benefits of mammograms.
If you live or work in the North Reading, Massachusetts, area, we invite you to visit us and discover our comprehensive, patient-centered services. And while you’re at it, why not schedule your mammogram? Here are five compelling reasons to do so.
Mammograms are screening tests that use low-dose X-ray technology to scan your breast tissue and detect possible signs of breast cancer. Two clear plastic plates compress your breast tissue briefly while our technician activates the X-ray. She repositions your breast and takes a couple more images, and after we’ve scanned both breasts, you’re good to go.
Although mammograms aren’t perfect, they have a good track record of detecting cancer before a lump forms. Dr. Nayar and the American Cancer Society recommend that women with an average risk for breast cancer should have their first mammogram between ages 40 and 44.
Between ages 45 and 55, schedule a mammogram every year. After age 55, you can cut back to an every-other-year schedule.
If you’re at high risk for breast cancer, Dr. Nayar may recommend an earlier start date and more frequent mammograms.
You can probably think of several ways that a mammogram could interfere with your schedule, but we have five reasons you should get it on your calendar as soon as possible.
Breast cancer can be fatal, but if we find it early before it spreads, we can begin treatment and increase your chances of survival. You have a 99% chance of beating breast cancer if you catch it and treat it in its earliest stage.
Self-exams are an excellent way to monitor your breast health and discover tissue changes. But it’s possible to have cancer in your breast tissue even if you don’t have a lump. Sometimes, the affected tissue is too deep to feel with your hands, but a mammogram has the capability to find it.
The median age for a breast cancer diagnosis is about 62, but that doesn’t mean you’re in the clear just because you’re underaged. Experts estimate that nearly 298,000 women will receive a breast cancer diagnosis in 2023, and nearly 44,000 will die from it.
Having a female relative with breast cancer increases your risk of developing it, but there’s no guarantee that you’re off the hook just because your family tree is cancer-free. Several factors beyond genetics increase your chances of getting breast cancer, such as:
Talk with Dr. Nayar if any of these risk factors apply so she can adjust your mammogram screening schedule and monitor you more closely.
Mammograms may feel uncomfortable for a moment or two, but they don’t hurt. And they only take about 15-30 minutes, so no more excuses about not being able to fit a mammogram into your busy life.
Take charge of your health and carve out a half-hour to check your breast health, ASAP. We’re ready when you are. Book online or call Nova Women’s Health to schedule your mammogram.