Mammograms are a type of breast imaging which uses low-dose radiation to take images of the breasts. The goal is early detection, preventing cancer from developing or spreading. Mammograms can only detect tumors in the densest part of the breast tissue, and cannot pick up cancers in other parts of the breast. But when coupled with a clinical exam by your doctor, mammograms have been shown to lower the risk for dying from breast cancer by nearly 30%.
A mammogram near me in Millburn, NJ may be used as a screening tool for women over 40 years old because it has been proven to help reduce mortality from breast cancer among this age group. Risk factors for breast cancer include being female, ethnicity (white), family history, obesity, hormonal imbalance and age. The most common symptom of breast cancer is a lump or mass in the breast.
A mammogram is a x-ray of the breast. It is used to screen for breast cancer in women who have no symptoms. Mammograms are recommended for women starting at age 40 and every year after that.
Mammograms can find cancers when they are small and easier to treat. They can also find cancers that are too small to feel.
Mammograms do not always find cancer, but they do find more cancers than any other screening test.
Some women have pain, bruising, or swelling after a mammogram. This is usually mild and goes away within a few days.
Most women who have a mammogram do not need to follow up with additional tests. However, some women need more tests after their mammogram.
The biggest risk of getting a mammogram is the small amount of radiation that you are exposed to during the test. This may slightly increase your breast cancer risk, but it also reduces your risk for other common types of cancer like lung and colorectal cancer. The overall benefit of finding breast cancers at an early stage far outweighs this small additional risk.
Be sure to talk to your doctor about what you can do to protect yourself further from breast cancer if you are concerned about the risks associated with x-rays (e.g., using sunscreen to reduce sun exposure).