What exactly is a mammogram. It’s a test used to screen for and diagnose breast cancer. Along with performing regular self-exams and one performed by a doctor or medical professional, mammograms are crucial in the prevention of breast cancer. You may be wondering why you should start getting mammograms, especially if you’re younger than the recommended age. Here are the reasons why you start getting mammograms.
You Have Certain Risk Factors
Studies show and medical experts say that if you have dense breasts, which can cause difficulty in detecting cancers, or a family/personal history of breast cancer, you should be getting mammograms, even as early as age 30 may be beneficial.
Early Detection of Breast Cancer
Starting mammograms early and regularly can help detect breast cancer early on and prevent extensive surgery, additional treatment, and potentially find high-risk lesions that also require treatment.
You Are Experiencing Signs or Symptoms
If you are experiencing any of the following signs or symptoms, be sure to consult a doctor, they may want you to have a mammogram to detect any abnormalities or diagnose any illnesses.
- A breast lump or thickening that feels different from the surrounding tissue
- Change in the size, shape or appearance of a breast
- Changes to the skin over the breast, such as dimpling
- A newly inverted nipple
- Peeling, scaling, crusting or flaking of the pigmented area of skin surrounding the nipple (areola) or breast skin
- Redness or pitting of the skin over your breast, like the skin of an orange
Making a Personal Decision
Because each woman is different and the level of risk and benefit varies from person to person, you should discuss your thoughts with your doctor and determine a plan that is specific to you. Weighing the information and your options is important in your health journey.