When Should Women Start Getting Mammograms?
Mammograms are an important screening tool used to detect breast cancer. But when should women start getting mammograms? The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists suggest yearly mammograms for women 40 and over.
Some organizations recommend mammograms at a younger age if there is a family history of breast cancer or if you have other common risk factors. An OBGYN in Columbus can provide more information on screening guidelines during a consultation. Call Professionals for Women's Health or read below to learn what is involved in a mammogram.
What is involved in a mammogram?
Patients have a better chance for successful breast cancer treatment the earlier it is found. A mammogram involves passing low doses of radiation through breast tissue to detect cancer, even if it is too small to be felt during a physical exam.
During a mammogram, we carefully place your breast between two plates that are connected to an x-ray. There is some compression involved, but the process is generally quick. Images taken from the mammogram are what help reveal any suspicious areas.
Some patients tend to be nervous about their cancer screenings. Professionals for Women's Health is proud to offer the MammoPad®, a cushion that offers a soft protective surface between your breast and the machine. Ask about our MammoPad during a consultation.
Who is a candidate for a mammogram?
Any woman 40 or over is a candidate for mammograms. However, patients should always consult with their OBGYN in Columbus to learn if they have certain risk factors that require earlier screenings. Contact Professionals for Women's Health in Columbus if you:
Have a personal or family history of breast cancer
Experienced early menstruation or late-onset menopause
In addition, mammograms are required when a patient or doctor discovers an abnormality while performing a breast exam. Call our clinic if you notice any of the following:
New lump in the breast or underarm
Thickening or swelling breast tissue
Changes in nipple shape, size, or appearance
Unexplained discharge from the nipple
How do I prepare for a yearly mammogram?
Professionals for Women's Health prepares each patient for their mammogram, so they feel comfortable. Our goal is to make mammograms as easy and gentle as possible under the circumstances. Here are a few ways to prepare for your cancer screening:
Please inform our team if you have breast enhancements, like implants, beforehand. This is helpful in determining the best position for obtaining mammogram images.
Avoid deodorants and lotions in the underarm and breast areas on the day of your appointment. Your skin needs to be free from these products for the most efficient results.
Wear a comfortable two-piece outfit and keep jewelry and other accessories at home. We will help you with your clothing, but it's best to wear something that can easily be taken off and put on.
Is now the right time for a mammogram?
It can be difficult to know if you are a candidate for a mammogram. Professionals for Women's Health can provide you with comprehensive information and resources about these essential breast cancer screenings. If you need an OBGYN in Columbus, call to learn more about our services. We can discuss potential risk factors and early screenings during a consultation.