The latest information on breast cancer shows women in Lincoln County to be more likely to develop the disease and more likely to die younger than women across the state and nation.
Because mammography is able to find such small tumors, this practice can catch lumps long before manual exams or symptoms begin. Catching cancer early increases chances of positive treatment.
Putting something off?
Women make many excuses to put off having a mammogram. Lack of family risk factors, fear of mammography, pain and fear of a positive finding are the most common. The FDA says most positive findings are not cancer, but benign tumors. Special tests such as biopsies are used to discern whether a lump is cancerous. Delaying the diagnosis of breast cancer does not change the diagnosis, it only increases your risk of a worse outcome — even death.
Risk Factors include…
Who needs one?
All women should get a mammogram by age 40 to establish a “baseline.” This “baseline” mammogram should be followed up every one to two years until age 49. At age 50, the American Cancer Society recommends annual exams. Younger women who have a high incidence of breast cancer in their family should set up a personal mammography/exam regimen with their doctor. If all women followed these guidelines, the death rate from breast cancer could be reduced by 30 percent — that’s 13,000 lives each year.
What can I expect?
A mammogram is a low-dose x-ray of the breast. The breast is placed on a device that flattens it, spreading the breast out so the x-rays can produce a precise image. The technologists at Lincoln Hospital work with each patient to find a comfortable angle and compression while maintaining highest quality images.
If the radiologist decides further pictures are needed, don’t panic. The vast majority of lumps found are not cancerous, but it is important to find those that are, so treatment can begin.
Can’t afford a mammogram?
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