A few minutes spent getting a mammogram could just save your life. Mammography saves lives with a simple breast x-ray that helps detect cancer early, which experts agree, is the key to breast cancer survival.
A mammogram can be used either for screening or for diagnostic purposes:
Beginning at age 19, women should develop a routine to perform self-breast exams and have a physical exam by a doctor annually to detect potentially cancerous lumps.
Following a mammogram, you may receive a letter notifying you that you have dense breasts. This means you have more fibrous or glandular tissue than fat. This is more common in young women. Women with dense breasts have a modestly elevated risk for breast cancer. It is important to discuss your results and family history with your doctor to determine appropriate screening measures.
If you have a family history of breast cancer, you should start annual screening mammograms before you reach age 40.
Recent advancements in test methods, such as 3D mammography, ultrasound or breast MRI, provide additional benefits for women with dense breast tissue or a family history of breast cancer. To find out if your risk means you could benefit from one of these additional tests, talk with your Mercy OB/GYN.
At Mercy, we offer comprehensive services to diagnose and treat a full range of conditions, including: