Because every woman matters. Whether she is your mother, sister, aunt, friend or co-worker, early detection of breast cancer is vital to saving lives. Just one picture can tell an important story, and that’s why having a mammogram sooner, rather than later, can mean all the difference. Get the picture?
There are two reasons mammograms are taken. Screening mammograms are done for women who have no symptoms of breast cancer. Diagnostic mammograms are done when a woman has symptoms of breast cancer or a breast lump. Diagnostic mammograms take longer than screening mammograms because more pictures of the breast are taken.
In January 2000, the FDA approved a new way of doing mammograms, called digital mammography. This technique records x-ray images on a computer, rather than film. It can reduce exposure to radiation, allow the person taking the x-ray to make adjustments without having to take another mammogram, and takes pictures of the entire breast even if the denseness of the breast tissue varies.
During a mammogram, you stand in front of a special x-ray machine. The person who takes the x-rays (always a woman) places your breasts (one at a time) between two plastic plates. The plates press your breast and make it flat. You will feel pressure on your breast for a few seconds. It may cause you some discomfort, feeling like squeezing or pinching. But, the flatter your breasts, the better the picture. Most often, two pictures are taken of each breast – one from the side and one from above. The whole thing takes only a few minutes.
To find out more about mammograms and their importance, please visit our Think Pink Link: Breast Cancer dot Org
Mammograms are our most powerful tool in our fight against Breast Cancer. I encourage you to get the picture.