Why Get a Mammogram?
“What’s the point of getting a mammogram?” That question is on many people’s minds. When we talk to our patients about why they should get one, there are often several responses, along with a lot of confusion. It is important for women and their doctors to be able to discuss this issue openly and honestly, and it’s something that should be discussed as early as possible.
For those of you who have never had a mammogram screening in Fair Lawn or are not sure why it was ordered, let’s start with the basics. Mammograms can provide important information to guide breast cancer treatment decisions and help save lives. Most women will experience some type of abnormal cell change in their breasts at some time in their lives; more than 400,000 per year are diagnosed with breast cancer. Mammograms are safe, simple, low-dose x-rays that can help find breast cancer when it’s easiest to treat and most likely to be found early.
Some women feel uncomfortable getting a mammogram because they are afraid of radiation or the pain of compression. Most women who have had both a mammogram and an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) say that the discomfort of getting a mammogram is less than they expected, while the pain from breast compression during an MRI is much worse than they’d imagined. A mammogram does expose women to low levels of radiation-much less than you are exposed to every day by going about your business in this world.
Communicate with your doctor and see what it is that you can do. Learn about all of your options and be sure that you can find the best solutions. By getting a mammogram early on, you can prevent cancer and make sure that you can live a healthy, fulfilling life.