Women between the ages of 40 and 54 are typically recommended to get screening mammograms each year, according to the American Cancer Society. A mammogram is explained to the patient as a low-dose x-ray examination of the breast. It is considered a non-invasive exam that is used for the early detection of various breast diseases even when no symptoms are present. To physicians, an annual mammogram seems like a straightforward examination; however, some patients are still unaware of the major benefits a screening mammogram can provide.
How does a screening mammogram work?
According to the National Cancer Institute, a screening mammogram checks for breast cancer in “women who have no signs or symptoms of the disease.” As a preventative x-ray, a screening mammogram captures two or more digital images of each breast. Physicians may be able to spot traces of breast cancer, like tumors or microcalcifications (tiny deposits of calcium), that are not noticeable at the breast’s surface using these precise x-rays.
What are the benefits of an annual screening mammogram?
Firstly, an annual screening mammogram can detect breast cancer even before symptoms arise. The screening mammogram is designed to discover breast cancer at an early stage; that way, any appropriate treatment methods will be more likely to yield successful results. Thanks to the American Cancer Society, decades of breast cancer research show “women who have regular mammograms are more likely to have breast cancer found early, are less likely to need aggressive treatment like surgery to remove the breast (mastectomy) and chemotherapy, and are more likely to be cured.”
Additionally, annual mammograms conducted over long periods of time can benefit women in the future. Susan G. Komen suggests a strong correlation between women who consistently participated in annual examinations over 10 years and a lower risk of dying from breast cancer. Annual screening mammograms do not completely prevent breast cancer, but they are a major aide in the fight against cancer and other related diseases.
Are there any risks?
Although screening mammography does provide many benefits to patients, risks may also be present. These risks may include false-positive results, false-negative results, overdiagnosis, overtreatment, and radiation exposure. Every patient is different, and every mammogram can yield different results based on the patient.
At Windsor Imaging, we know what it takes to produce clear images while maintaining patient satisfaction during an annual screening mammogram. Our Fort Pierce location is home to Hologic Genius™ 3D Mammography™, an exam that yields more accurate results for women of all ages and breast densities. With our state-of-the-art technology and caring radiology team, women can experience all of the benefits an annual mammogram has to offer. Visit our website to learn about scheduling your annual mammogram with Windsor Imaging.