Annual mammograms can detect cancer early- when it is most treatable. Multiple studies of screening mammography have been done and all have shown a benefit for women who undergo screening mammography routinely. The early detection of breast cancer has been shown to decrease mortality rates from breast cancer by 33 to 50 percent. Early detection also increases treatment options and renders the treatment nore effective. Mammograms show changes in the breast up to 2 years before a patient or physician can feel them.
A mammogram is a specific type of breast exam used to aid the early detection and diagnosis of breast diseases in women. This quick medical exam uses a noninvasive X-ray targeted to both breast, producing pictures that your doctor can use to identify any abnormal areas, possibly indicating the presence of cancer.
The Current guidelines from the American College of Radiology and the Society for Breast Imaging recommend that women receive annual mammograms starting at age 40- even if they have no symptoms or family history of breast cancer. Women with a significant family history ( two first degree relatives with breast cancer, particularly if the breast cancer was diagnosed before menopause or involved both breasts) are recommended to begin screening mammograms at age 30.
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