Breast Health and Mammograms

Maintaining healthy breasts begins with understanding breast abnormalities. Breast shape, size, and tenderness vary for each woman, so it is important to become familiar with what is normal for you. Performing breast self-exams is the first step to familiarizing yourself with what is normal and abnormal for your own breasts. If you notice changes in texture, sensitivity, or pain you should consult your doctor.  

A mammogram is a type of x-ray exam that is used to detect early stages of breast cancer. It is a useful screening tool, considering it can detect breast cancer years prior to physical signs.  

Did you know…

One in eight American women will develop breast cancer. The vast majority, about eighty-five percent, of breast cancer cases occur among women who also have a family history of breast cancer.

Some physical changes to the breasts that are aligned with breast cancer symptoms include swelling, redness, nipple discharge, or lumps in the breast. These symptoms may occur in one or both breasts.

It is recommended that a woman consider annual mammograms beginning at age forty. However, all women over the age of forty-five should definitely receive a mammogram every year. To determine when is the right age to begin these screenings, you should discuss the options with your doctor.

If the results of a mammogram are abnormal, it does not automatically mean there is a presence of breast cancer. However, it will support the cause to perform more tests. A doctor will likely request follow-up testing to confirm the patient’s health status and give a diagnosis, if warranted.