Breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer in women. It is estimated that 1 in 8 women born today in the United States will get breast cancer at some point.
The good news is that most women can survive breast cancer if it’s found and treated early. A mammogram – the screening test for breast cancer – can help find breast cancer early when it’s easier to treat.
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and gives Lucas County Health Center a chance to raise awareness about the importance of early detection. Here are seven questions you should be asking and the answers you need to schedule your next mammogram.
What is a mammogram?
A mammogram is a low-dose x-ray that allows specialists to look for changes in breast tissue. Screening mammograms are used to look for breast changes in women who do not appear to have breast problems. A diagnostic mammogram is used to get more information about breast changes in women who have breast symptoms or an abnormal mammogram.
Why do I need a mammogram?
A mammogram can often find or detect breast cancer early, when it’s small and even before a lump can be felt. This is when it’s easiest to treat.
At what age should I start getting regular mammograms?
A baseline or first mammogram should be done between the ages of 35 and 40.
How often should I have a mammogram?
Annual screening mammograms are recommended by both the ACS and ACR. American Cancer Society and the American College of Radiology.
What questions should I ask my doctor?
It helps to have questions written down ahead of your appointment. Take this list of questions with you and consider asking a family member or close friend to go with you to take notes.
- Do I have risk factors for breast cancer?
- Based on my risk factors, what are my chances of getting breast cancer?
If you are under age 50, you might want to ask:
- Should I start getting regular mammograms? If so, how often?
- What are the pros and cons of getting mammograms before age 50?
If you are between ages 50 and 70, you might want to ask:
- How often should I get mammograms?
- What are the pros and cons of getting mammograms every 2 years instead of every year?
What questions should I ask the Radiology technologist doing the mammogram?
- What will happen when I go to get a mammogram?
- How long will it take to get the results of my mammogram?
Where can I get a mammogram?
Lucas County Health Center’s Radiology department is available Monday thru Friday to schedule your mammogram. If you are not having problems, no order is required from your healthcare provider. However, if you are experiencing issues, we do require a provider’s order. For more information, contact LCHC’s Radiology department at (641) 774-3223.