Doctor insights on:
Unilateral Diagnostic Mammogram
A mammogram is the "gold standard" screening test for breast cancer. It's well established that yearly 'grams will DX cancers well before they are palpable, leading to earlier diagnoses and saved lives. All experts agree to begin yearly mammograms by age 50; many (including myself) believe the pro's outweigh the con's to begin at 40. Regrettably, less than half of all women ...Read more
Yes but not for long: A woman's breast is squeezed as flat as possible for a couple seconds while the X-ray is taken. It hurts, but it doesn't last long. Most women have no problem tolerating it. It shouldn't keep you from having it done if your doctor recommends it. ...Read more
Needs compression: Most centers in the us take two images. One is oblique (called a medial lateral oblique or mlo) and one is head to toe (called craniocaudal or cc). Compression is required in both projections and this part can be painful. Once the images are obtained they are evaluated by a radiologist who has satisfied certain criteria established by the fda. A report should be available that day or within 1 week. ...Read more
Not necessarily hurt: In order to take a good picture breast tissue must be flattened by providing pressure to one direction. This should be explained to patient and performed gently. A large volume breast may need more pressure, but this can be done gently. ...Read more
Compression!: A screening mammogram involves taking two pictures of the breast (top-down and side-to-side) to get a complete view of the breast. This is done with the breast tissue "squished" for a few seconds so as to get the best images. I am told that it is as painful as it sounds but the pain usually is gone quickly. Most importantly, we can find cancers much earlier with a high probability for cure. ...Read more
Start annually age40:
Annual mammography starting at age 40 is recommended by majority.
This is recommendation of the american cancer society, the american college of radiology, the american college of obstetrics and gynecology, as well as many others.
If one has relatives (specially first-degree relatives) with breast cancer in young age, screening should start earlier. ...Read more
Yearly age 40 and up: New information suggests a shortened "sojourn" time in younger women. Meaning cancers can grow faster in women in their 40's. While cancers are less common in this group, more frequent screening is important. Risk of breast ca goes up with age, so yearly testing is suggested. Women with strong family history may need to start earlier. ...Read more
Screening mammo: According to the American Cancer Society, American College of Radiology, and others, annual screening mammography should begin at age 40. Screening may begin sooner if you are a BRCA carrier or are otherwise at high risk. I see you are 44, you should consider getting one soon. ...Read more
At least every 2 yrs: This is unclear, because a well-done study showed little difference between yearly or every 2 year mammograms in women ages 50-69. The age to start mammograms is also unclear. For women under 50, it takes 1, 904 mammograms to prevent one death from breast cancer. Most groups recommend starting at age 40, but ask your doctor to explain your personal risks and benefits based on your history. ...Read more
Accredited unit: Most mammograms are almost painfree or associated with little discomfort. Some people experience more pain. Use a mammography service that has accreditation. Some services offer a soft pad on the machine which makes it slightly more comfortable. Talk to the technician before the procedure and alert her/him of your pain threshold.. ...Read more
Mammogram: It is not necessary to get a mammogram. A mammogram is a screening test for breast cancer and considered preventive medicine. 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer, including those with strong family history of (maternal side) breast cancer. Since finding breast cancer in the early stages increases the cure rate, it is to a woman's advantage to get screened. ...Read more
Mammo Safety: Very little in life is 'completely' safe. We make risk/benefit decisions all the time, without even being conscious of it. For example driving a car, or taking an antibiotic for an infection, carries some risk. With mammography, there is a minimal increased risk of radiation induced cancer. However, medical consensus is that the risk is far outweighed by the potential benefit of early Ca detection ...Read more
It depends: There is no clear cut answer. If you are in relatively good health, no matter what your age, you should probably continue screening. If you have a terminal medical condition, it may not provide much benefit to continue screening. ...Read more
Not as important:
Some studies claim that mammograms are better performed at a certain time of the menstrual cycles. More important is the reading... Age, density of the breast, comparison with previous mammograms...
Risk factors as age, family history, previous cancer..... Are important in determining the frequency...
Consult with your doctor.... ...Read more
Screen breast cancer: Mammogram is an xray technique used to evaluate the breast tissue and ascertain that it's appearance is normal. It is useful to detect very early changes in the tissues that are consistent with cancer of the breast. This changes are not usually palpable by the patient or the doctor on routine exams. ...Read more
Mammogram age?: If your family history has women with early breast cancer (mother, grandmother, sister) age 35 is appropriate for a digital mammogram. If your family history is negative for breast cancer, age 40 would be appropriate. If you have dense heavy breasts, annual mammograms after 40 is suggested. ...Read more
Squeezing: During a mammogram, the breast tissue is stretched forward and squeezed tightly between 2 plates. This may feel like pinching or even a sharp pain. It only takes a few seconds to get the x-ray. Then the plates are loosened and in most cases, the discomfort goes away quickly. Two or 3 films may need to be taken of each breast. The better the compression, the easier it is to find tumors! ...Read more
35 to 40: Under usual circumstances and without any other reasons to do a mammogram, a baseline screening can be done from age 35 to 40. If this was ok then it is recommended to do yearly mammography starting at age 40. There are however, some disagreements as to the efficacy of mammogram between the ages of 40-50 years. American cancer society recommends to get mammogram on a yearly basis from age 40. ...Read more
Mammo results: The legal requirement of the Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA) is that you receive a results letter within 30 days. Most often patients will hear from their doctor much sooner. If you are very worried, call your doctors office for results. Typically the report should be available within a couple of days. ...Read more
Overlapping: Tissue is normal. Since a mammogram is a two dimensional representation of a three dimensional object, the occasional overlap of normal tissue superimposed on normal tissue behind it, or in front of it, sometimes looks like an abnormality. Extra views are then necessary to spread out the tissue and prove that it is normal. Only normal tissue will spread out. Real masses persist on extra views. ...Read more
Make an appt.: According to the American Cancer Society, American College of Radiology, and others, annual screening mammography should begin at age 40. Screening may begin sooner if you are a BRCA carrier or are otherwise at high risk. I see you are 46, so now is the time for you to get your first mammogram! ...Read more
To get a mammogram: You will have to answer some questions regarding your health, breast condition, past history of any breast related interventions and family history. Your mammogram will be taken by a technologist and read by a radiologis. A typical screening mammogram includes 2 images of each breast. Sometimes additional images mey be needed. You should expect privacy and respect at your appointment. ...Read more
You're overdue: It may be somewhat uncomfortable but tolerable and well worth it. Mammography has decreased breast cancer mortality by up to 50%. If you get one every year rather than every other your chances of dying from breast cancer go down 30%. 20% of cancers are in women in their 40's. What have you been waiting for? ...Read more