What Risk Factors Determine If You Need A Mammogram?

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By now, most of us know how critical early detection is when it comes to cancer. For women, finding breast cancer early dramatically increases the patient survival rate. Mammography is without a doubt one of the most valuable breast cancer screening tools and should be performed regularly once a woman reaches a certain age. For patients with certain risk factors, however, yearly mammograms are appropriate and strongly recommended. The expert team at Professionals for Women’s Health is proud to offer advanced mammography in Columbus, OH for women who need routine screening, those with breast cancer risk factors, those who have a personal or family history of breast cancer, and others. Learn more about when and why you may need to schedule a mammogram in Central Ohio.

What’s the difference between a breast exam and a mammogram?

Self-exams, clinical breast exams, mammograms, and breast MRIs are all important tools for breast cancer screening, though each one is unique. A breast exam refers to a physical examination during which the breast is visually evaluated and manually palpated to identify lumps, unusual features, and changes in the breast over time. A clinical breast exam should be performed annually during a patient’s well-woman exam, while self-exams should be performed by the woman herself regularly at home. By contrast, a mammogram is an x-ray imaging study that is used to detect breast cancer.

Who needs a mammogram?

According to current guidelines, women who are at average risk for developing breast cancer should begin regular mammogram screening starting at age 40. However, women with certain risk factors, including a personal or family history of breast cancer, may need early or more frequent mammograms than others. Additionally, patients who experience suspicious physical signs or symptoms of breast cancer may need a mammogram to further clarify the possibility of disease. Risk factors and signs that may mean you need a mammogram include:

  • Personal history of breast cancer
  • Family history of breast cancer
  • BRCA gene positive
  • First line relative with breast cancer or ovarian cancer
  • Palpable lump or other sign/symptom of breast cancer
  • Change in breasts

During your annual well visit with your primary care physician or gynecologist in Columbus, Dublin, or Westerville, OH, it is important to discuss any possible breast cancer risk factors you may have, as well as alert them to any changes in your breasts since your last visit.

Do you need a mammogram before breast augmentation?

Many women considering breast implants wonder whether they’ll need a mammogram before surgery. In some cases, surgeons may require a mammogram before breast augmentation, though not always. Women who have an increased risk for breast cancer and those who are over 40 and have not had a recent mammogram may be required to have a mammogram before undergoing breast enhancement surgery. After getting breast implants, patients should continue their normal breast exam routine, including regular self-exams, clinical exams, and mammograms as recommended.

Protect your health by knowing when to get a mammogram in Columbus, OH

With education and screening, women can dramatically increase their chances of early breast cancer detection and successful treatment. To learn more about your personal risk factors for breast cancer and when you may need to start having regular mammograms, call the caring team at Professionals for Women’s Health in Columbus, OH to schedule your consultation today.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.