Regular Mammograms May Be the Key to Your Breast Health
Detecting breast cancer early is the key to fighting it head on. The best approach is a combination of regular breast exams and mammography. Talk to your doctor about what’s best for you based on your personal and family health history.
What Are Mammograms?
Mammograms are a series of X-rays that show images of the soft tissue of your breast. Along with breast self-exams and clinical breast exams, mammograms are important screenings to help detect breast cancer early, when it’s easiest to treat.
3D mammography, also known as breast tomosynthesis, is another type of mammogram that works similar to a CT scan, offering a more comprehensive view of the breast tissue. Many Banner Health facilities offer 3D mammography.
You might have a mammogram for a couple of reasons:
- Screening mammogram – a routine screening when you don’t have any signs of problems; these are important for early detection before you have symptoms
- Diagnostic mammogram – a screening to rule out or diagnose breast cancer or another condition, such as a noncancerous lump, if you have symptoms
How Often Do I Need a Mammogram?
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends women ages 40 and older have a clinical breast exam and mammogram every year.
Your doctor may recommend different screening guidelines depending on your personal risk factors. Women at high risk of breast cancer may get a breast MRI each year in addition to a mammogram.
Do Mammograms Hurt?
Not too much. Mammograms are more comfortable now thanks to changes in technology and design. Mammograms are generally quick and relatively painless.
Learn how to prepare for your appointment