It’s estimated that there will be more than 252,710 new cases of invasive breast cancer and 40,610 breast cancer deaths among U.S. women this year. Breast cancer mortality rates in the United States have decreased over the past few decades. The decline in breast cancer deaths is largely due to improved treatment and early detection. Mammography remains one of the most effective breast cancer screening methods.
What is a mammogram?
Mammography is a type of breast imaging that uses X-rays to look for tumors and other abnormalities. It’s a non-invasive procedure that allows radiologists to examine the internal structure of the breasts.
There are two main types of mammograms – screening mammograms and diagnostic mammograms.
Screening mammograms look for signs of breast cancer. A screening mammogram is used when there’s no indication that there is something wrong with the breast.
Diagnostic mammograms closely examine an identified problem. If you have changes in breast size, breast pain, or other abnormal symptoms, then your doctor may recommend a diagnostic mammogram.
Why are mammograms important?
Mammography detects cancer in its earliest stages, which means that mammograms save lives. Early detection is crucial to treating breast cancer. The sooner that breast cancer is found, the more treatable it is. The 5-year survival rate for early detection of breast cancer is 100%.
Breast cancer can exist in the body without causing any noticeable symptoms. Screening mammography helps find breast cancer that is too small or too difficult to detect through a physical examination.
How often should I get a mammogram?
The Breast Center recommends annual screening mammograms for women 40 and older. Screening mammograms are typically covered under most health insurance plans.
Certain factors may put you at a higher risk for developing breast cancer. A breast cancer risk assessment can help you understand your risk for cancer, and help determine if you should start screening for breast cancer sooner than age 40.
The Breast Center offers risk assessment, screening mammograms and diagnostic mammograms in Fayetteville and Bentonville. Learn more about mammography/breast imaging, and ask about 3D mammography, or Breast Tomosynthesis.