October is breast cancer awareness month. Every year during the month of October organizations around the country participate in the ‘walk for a cure’. Where people donate and walk for breast cancer. All proceeds are donated to Susan G. Komen, which helps to further progress research to finding a cure for breast cancer.
What is a mammogram?
A mammogram is a X-RAY image of the breast.
Mammograms can be used to check for breast cancer in women who have no signs or symptoms of the disease. Mammograms can also be used to check for breast cancer after a lump or other sign or symptom of the disease has been found.
The 2 types of Mammograms
There are two types of mammograms. A Screening Mammogram is performed routinely for women over the age of 40 to prevent breast cancer. A Diagnostic Mammogram is performed when a lump, breast pain, nipple discharge, or a change in breast tissue, size or shape is detected.
What is a 3D Mammograms?
Three-dimensional (3D) mammography is a type of digital mammogram in which x-ray machines are used to take pictures of thin slices of the breast from different angles and computer software is used to reconstruct an image. This type of mammogram is used to get a full 360 degree look at dense breast tissue. Every breast is not the same and it is hard for radiologists to detect cancer in dense breast tissue. Cancer in the breast are seen in a 2D x-ray image as tissue and this is a problem that’s why 3D mammograms are very beneficial.
Why you should get a mammogram?
This is a question that many ask. Some fear the the exposure of radiation during this exam and some are unaware of the benefits of early breast cancer detection. Yes you are exposed to a small amount of radiation but it will not harm you. Yes, mammograms can prevent breast cancer. So please if you are 40 years of age or older get a mammogram. And be sure to get one annually so that you can prevent Breast Cancer. If you know someone who is 40 or older encourage them to get a mammogram. If you have a family history of breast cancer you should also get a mammogram asap, because having a family history of cancer can heighten your chances of being diagnosed with it.