With the wave of pinkwashing over everything, you might think you’re wearing rose-colored glasses. But your vision isn’t impaired — October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Pink shoes on NFL players, “Pink Ribbon” fun runs, and other awareness and fundraising events are visible ways to remind women everywhere to have routine mammograms to screen for breast cancer.
Let’s review some breast cancer statistics.
Around 13% of women get breast cancer.
- Over 281,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer are diagnosed every year.
- Every year, over 43,600 women die from breast cancer
- When breast cancer is caught and treated early, breast cancer has an average 5-year survival rate of 90%
And one more: routine mammogram screenings are the best way to diagnose cancer as early as possible.
How Often Should I Have Mammograms?
According to the American Cancer Society, women can choose to begin having screening mammograms from the age of 40, and that women aged 45-54 should have annual mammograms. From the age of 55, you can continue to have yearly breast cancer screenings or reduce the frequency to every two years.
How Do Mammograms Work?
Mammograms are X-rays of your breast tissue. Denser tissue blocks more of the safe, low-dose radiation, so it appears as white or light gray patches on the resulting image. During a screening mammogram, your tech takes two images of each of your breasts. Maiden Lane Medical also offers 3D mammograms, which take multiple X-rays to create a 3D model of your breasts.
What Happens During A Mammogram?
After you undress the top half of your body and put on an open-fronted gown, you stand in front of the mammogram machine.
First, the technician places your breast onto a glass plate and lowers another plate to slightly flatten your breast before taking the X-ray. Then, the tech opens the plates and adjusts the angle before compressing your breast again. Next, they repeat the process on your other breast.
How Should I Prepare For A Mammogram?
You don’t need to do much to prepare for your mammogram. First, and most importantly, schedule your appointment, ideally about a week after your period. You can take an over-the-counter pain reliever about a half-hour before your appointment to minimize any discomfort from the breast compression.
You may want to wear a blouse with a skirt or pants as you will need to undress the top half of your body for the test. You shouldn’t wear any deodorant, body lotion, or perfume as these products can interfere with the imaging process.
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About Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Breast Cancer Awareness Month began in 1985 when the American Cancer Society and the pharmaceutical division of Imperial Chemical Industries partnered to raise awareness. Betty Ford, a breast cancer survivor, participated in the launch. The pink ribbon first appeared in a national campaign launched by Estee Lauder in 1992. They distributed over 1.5 million of them from cosmetic counters across the country.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month educates women about the disease and early detection tests such as mammograms and ultrasounds. Routine screening is critical to diagnosing and treating breast cancer as early as possible.
If you have more questions about mammograms, go ahead and visit our mammogram FAQ section to find the answers! Call us today or schedule an appointment online for expert, patient-focused care.
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