Can a Mammogram Detect if Someone Has Cancer?
There’s no question that detecting breast cancer in its early stages increases the chances of treating the patient successfully. Unfortunately, many early breast cancers aren’t able to be felt during a manual breast exam. The most accurate and effective solution for the early detection of breast cancer is a mammogram. At Professionals for Women’s Health in Columbus, OH, our expert team is committed to the health of our patients and performs both screening and diagnostic mammograms in a comfortable, private, caring manner. In this blog, we’ll answer many of the most common mammogram FAQ to help you better understand if, when, and why you may need a mammogram.
What does a mammogram do?
A mammogram is a type of x-ray imaging study designed specifically to evaluate a woman’s breasts. Mammography can identify cancerous tumors or growths in the breasts that are too small or too deep within the tissue to be felt by palpation. Calcium deposits in the breast, which can be a sign of breast cancer, can also be identified using mammography.
At what age do you start getting mammograms?
Generally speaking, all women should have yearly mammograms starting at age 40. However, there are some women who may need earlier and/or more frequent mammograms due to elevated breast cancer risk factors. These include:
- Personal history of breast cancer
- Immediate family history (mother, daughter, or sister) of breast cancer
- Palpable lump or nodule in breast
- Changes in the breast skin, tissue, or nipple
- Abnormal breast discharge
- Thickening or lump in the armpit
- Certain genetic findings
- Started periods at an early age
- Experienced menopause at an early age
Can a mammogram miss cancer?
At this time, mammography is the most effective and accurate tool for detecting breast cancer. However, there are some cases in which breast cancer may not be detected on a mammogram. For example, tumors may be more difficult to capture on a mammogram in women with dense breast tissue. Still, mammography has a very high accuracy rate and continues to be the best way to detect breast cancer early so that treatment can begin as soon as possible.
Can you get a mammogram with implants?
Yes. Mammograms are perfectly safe and still necessary even for women with implants. Please inform our office at the time of scheduling your mammogram that you have breast implants.
Does a mammogram hurt?
Patients may experience some discomfort during a mammogram, though it is not considered exceptionally painful. Our caring team takes every step possible to ensure your comfort during your mammogram, and we are proud to offer the optional MammoPad® for an even more comfortable experience.
Do I really need a mammogram every year?
Absolutely. Breast cancer can grow quickly and can become extremely difficult to treat if it is not detected in its early stages. Additionally, some mammograms may result in a false negative. For these reasons and many more, it is essential for women to safeguard their health with yearly mammograms starting at age 40 (or earlier if recommended).
Detect breast cancer as soon as possible with yearly mammograms in Columbus, OH
There’s never a good time to have breast cancer, but knowing that you have it as early as possible is crucial for a successful course of treatment. Don’t risk your health – or your life – by skipping your mammograms. Call Professionals for Women’s Health to schedule your mammogram in Columbus, OH today.