Mammograms are a vital preventative diagnostic test to help women and their doctors detect signs of early breast cancer — whether you’re experiencing symptoms or not. Women should schedule their first mammogram between the ages of 45 and 50. Once you reach 50 years of age, you should schedule an annual mammogram because the best prevention is early detection.
What is a mammogram?
A mammogram is a low-dose x-ray that gives your doctor the ability to look for any changes in breast tissue. The machine has two plates that compress the breast to spread the tissue apart, which provides a better image of the tissue. This method also uses less radiation.
Types of mammograms
Screening mammograms are used for women who are not experiencing any common symptoms of breast cancer (e.g., lumps, pain, skin dimpling or nipple discharge). Diagnostic mammograms provide more detailed x-rays of the breast using specialized techniques. These mammograms are typically used to get more information about breast changes in women who are experiencing symptoms or who have received abnormal screening results.
Benefits of mammography
Let’s take a look at the benefits of mammography:
- Annual mammograms can save your life.
Detecting breast cancer early reduces your fatality risk by approximately 30 percent.
- Early detection is the best prevention.
Mammograms can detect abnormal breast tissue approximately two years before it becomes cancerous.
- Mammograms improve your chances of breast conservation.
Early detection of localized breast cancer lowers your chances of needing a mastectomy (breast removal).
If you are between the ages of 45 and 50, it’s time to schedule your annual mammogram. Our skilled specialists are ready to help you with mammography services at Pomona Valley Health Centers. We are proud to offer highly compassionate and advanced women’s health care at all four of our office locations.
For more information about our women’s health services, please call 909-630-7829.