Are you overdue for a mammogram? You should schedule one now. Getting this breast cancer screening every year helps your doctor spot signs of cancer. This can be long before you may notice any changes in your breasts.
Like many people in the U.S., you may have put off your usual check-ups and screenings during the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, you may be one of the 382,000 women who missed breast cancer screenings between March 2020 to March 2021. But even though the virus hasn’t quite gone away, it is safe to get a mammogram once again — and it’s important to do so.
Why You Should Schedule a Mammogram
If it’s been a while since you had a mammogram, these 6 reasons just may convince you to pick up the phone and schedule yours now.
It May Be Cancer Even if You Haven’t Felt a Lump
You may not be able to feel a lump if it’s small or deep inside your breast. Luckily, mammograms can show lumps and other changes in the breasts before you can feel them. The screenings use low-dose X-rays that give doctors a look at the inside of your breasts.
The Sooner You Catch Cancer, The Better
Your chance of surviving breast cancer is much better if the cancer is found early. According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, the five-year survival rate is 99% if the cancer is found before it spreads outside the breast.
If found early, your doctor may only need to remove the lump instead of the entire breast.
You're More Likely to Get Breast Cancer With a Family History
Your chance of getting breast cancer could be higher if someone else in your family had this cancer. If your mother, daughter, or sister had breast cancer, your risk could be nearly double. However, keep in mind that you can also get breast cancer even if no one in your family has ever had it.
Mammograms Save Lives
We'll make sure you get the right type of screening for your personal risk level and needs.
The Older You Are, The Higher Your Risk
You can get breast cancer at any age, but it’s more likely to happen as you get older. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that most breast cancers happen in women over 50. Between ages 30-39, you should talk with your doctor about your breast cancer risk.
There Are Other Things That May Increase Your Risk
According to the CDC, factors that may raise your risk of breast cancer are:
- Dense breasts
- Having breast cancer in the past
- Radiation treatment of the chest or breasts
- Starting your period before age 12
- Starting menopause after age 55
Talk to your doctor about your risk factors.
Mammograms Are Quick and Easy
Getting a mammogram usually takes only 30 minutes or less. Most places that provide screenings offer a choice of appointment times so you can select a time that’s most convenient for you. You might be able to get a screening during your lunch hour, before or after work, or on the weekend.
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