Posts for tag: Mammogram
Every two minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer in the US, making breast cancer one of the most common cancers to affect American women. Your OBGYN believes in the importance of self-breast exams and getting regular checkups, which not only can detect issues early on but also could end up saving your life. Furthermore, by performing regular self-breast exams you get to understand how your breasts should look and feel so that you know right away when something feels amiss.
First and foremost, you should get used to performing a breast exam on yourself once a month. The best time to perform these exams is a few days after your period ends so your breasts will be less sore and swollen. Most breasts will feel lumpy; this should not be a cause for concern (this is completely normal).
If you notice a new lump or you notice any changes in the texture or shape of your breast then you should also make an appointment with your doctor. You should also seek medical attention if you notice soreness, redness, swelling, or dimpling of the skin. Once a year during your annual women’s checkup, your gynecologist will also perform a simple, noninvasive breast exam.
Women between the ages of 45 and 54 should also be getting a routine mammogram once a year along with their annual gynecological visit. Women over 55 years old should still get mammograms but may only need to get one once every other year. Those at an increased risk for developing breast cancer may need to visit their doctor before age 45 and more often for screenings.
Along with performing a breast examination your annual wellness checkup with an OBGYN is extremely important and shouldn’t be missed. While most women associate this annual gynecological exam with Pap smears, the visit involves so much more for your health. From adolescence until older adulthood, all women should visit their gynecologist for an annual examination to help prevent problems and detect issues early on when they are easily treatable.
During your annual checkup a gynecologist can:
- Screen for and help prevent sexually transmitted infections
- Detect and treat vaginal infections
- Determine the cause of pelvic pain and irregular bleeding
- Treat menstrual problems
- Discuss birth control options
- Determine breast changes
Many women will experience problems at some point during their lifetime, whether it’s a simple urinary tract infection, unexplained abdominal pain, or breast cancer. When problems arise it’s important that you have a gynecologist that you trust to provide you with the compassionate, understanding and delicate care you need. If it’s been more than a year since your annual OBGYN checkup, call your gynecologist today.
With breast cancer being the most commonly diagnosed cancer in American women it’s now more important than ever to educate women on the importance of getting regular mammograms. While most women won’t need to get them during their early adult years, it’s important to understand why mammograms are necessary, who should be getting them and how often you should get one.
No matter your age, it is important to note that if a lump is detected during a physical breast exam a mammogram should be performed. According to the American Cancer Society, women should get a mammogram once a year starting around the age of 40. This doesn’t include the self-exams you should be performing on yourself once a month to check for lumps. Women 55 years old or older should get a mammogram every two years.
Of course, if breast cancer runs in your family then you may need to get a mammogram earlier. It’s important that you talk to your gynecologist right away about your family history in order to determine whether or not you should start getting regular mammograms sooner. After all, a mammogram is the best diagnostic tool to be able to detect breast cancer earlier. This simple tool could just end up saving your life.
A mammogram only takes about 20 minutes to complete. A machine will be used to compress the breast for a couple seconds in order to capture the necessary images. While the compression may be uncomfortable it shouldn’t be painful. If you do feel pain it’s important that you let us know. It can take up to 10 days to get results.
A radiologist will look at the images captured during your mammogram and explain findings on a scale from 0 to 6, with 0 meaning that there were no abnormalities and 6 being malignant breast cancer that has already been detected with a biopsy. If there are any suspicious findings, a biopsy may be recommended to test the breast tissue for the presence of cancer cells.
If it’s believed that the findings are benign then a biopsy will not be necessary; however, we may recommend that you come in more regularly for routine mammograms.
Whether you have questions about getting a mammogram or you want to find out if you could benefit from this diagnostic test, call your OBGYN today to learn more. Taking precautions now could protect you in the future.