Early detection of breast cancer is one way to significantly improve one’s survival once diagnosed. This is because the cancer at the earliest stage can be treated more effectively than cancer that has spread, or metastasized. To diagnose breast cancer, an imaging process known as a mammogram, or mammography, is done to check the tissues of the breast and look for tumors or growths that might indicate the presence of cancer. In situations such as this, the doctor will often take a sample, called a biopsy, of the growth to test for cancerous cells.
Why are mammograms important?
There are several reasons why mammograms performed annually are important to a woman’s overall health:
- Finding cancer in the earliest stages is key. The survival rate of patients who find breast cancer in the earlier stages is much higher than those who catch it in the more advanced stages, especially if it has spread. By undergoing routine mammograms, women are taking a proactive approach that can benefit them greatly if cancer develops.
- Risks increase with age. As you age, your likelihood of developing breast cancer will significantly increase. Women should start having routine mammograms around the age of 40 and undergo them each year with their annual well woman visit.
- Mammograms are safe. Mammograms are not only safe, but effective in catching the signs of breast cancer. The imaging can show images of tumors, lumps, and other concerns within the tissue that can then be evaluated further by our team at Summit Healthcare Regional Medical Center.
- They can monitor for cancer in patients with a higher risk. Women who have a relative with breast cancer or have a higher risk of developing it will want to have routine mammograms performed to look for early indications. Women with gene mutations that can result in a higher risk of breast cancer will want to be seen regularly as well.
Ready for a mammogram?
Schedule your first mammogram with the team at Summit Healthcare Regional Medical Center today! Call (928) 537-4375 to request a consultation at one of our four convenient office locations. We are dedicated to providing care for women during well woman visits and breast cancer screenings.