Annual mammograms, or X-rays that reveal abnormal growths or breast cancer, are an important part of preventative care for women age 40 and older, or for younger women with a family history of the disease. Yet data shows that only 65.3% of women over 40 have had a mammogram in the past two years. Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t skip this essential service. If you’re still unsure, talk to your doctor.
Benefits of Yearly Mammograms
They Can Save Your Life
About 40,920 women will die from breast cancer in 2018. If you include yearly mammograms in your preventative care, you’ll have a better chance of catching the disease in the earlier stages. The earlier breast cancer is detected, the easier it is to treat.
They Catch Symptoms Early
If you don’t feel a lump during a self-exam, don’t assume you’re fine. In the early stages of breast cancer, you might not be able to feel any lumps on your breasts. Mammograms find tumors that are too small to detect by other means.
No matter how busy your schedule is, it’s important to make time for your annual mammograms. The good news is that they typically take only about 30 minutes. You could even schedule the exam during your lunch hour and be out the door in no time.
They Give You Peace of Mind
Don’t let the fear of feeling discomfort scare you away from getting a mammogram. While the doctor will have to compress your breasts during this preventative care procedure, you can take steps to reduce discomfort. Schedule your mammogram during the first two weeks after your menstrual cycle, when your breasts will be less tender. About an hour before your exam, take an over-the-counter pain reliever. If the mammogram is negative, the reassurance you’ll have is well worth the inconvenience.
If it’s time for your yearly breast exam, trust the health professionals at Rochester Regional Health Laboratories in Monroe County, NY. The health care provider has offered patients high-quality health services since 1975, including everything from comprehensive preventative care to blood tests. They take the time to customize their services to each patient’s individual needs and treat everyone with compassion. For more information about their health care services, call (800) 525-5227 or visit their website.