When was your last mammogram? If the answer is over a year, it's time to schedule another one. Life can get busy and we may lose track of time. Perhaps work is the culprit or maybe you are caring for a loved one. Whatever the reason, it's time to put your health at the top of the to-do list.
Annual mammograms are recommended for every woman beginning at age 40 by most of the medical societies, including the American College of Radiology, the Society of Breast Imaging, and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
For annual well-visits, a clinical breast exam by your clinician is also recommended. But getting to know your breasts is important too. You may see your clinician once a year, but you can perform your own self-breast exam once a month. Many women find their own cancers this way.
"Breasts are lumpy by nature." says Rachel A. Burke, MD, a breast-imaging radiologist at Watson Clinic’s Women's Center. "But you should get to know your lumps and bumps and let your clinician know about any changes."
Ultimately, it is best to find breast cancer when it is small and in the earliest stage. Mammograms can find cancers too small to feel, and this leads to better outcomes and survival.
“The two largest risk factors for developing breast cancer are being female and getting older, neither of which we can change. Family history can raise your risk, but the vast majority of cases, about 85%, occur without one," says Dr. Burke.
Knowing is better than not knowing. Make an appointment today for your annual checkup and include your annual screening mammogram.
Watson Clinic offers the latest digital and 3D mammography technology. To schedule your mammogram, call 863-680-7755, option 3.