You already know that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but did you know that today is National Mammography Day? Every third Friday of October is designated as national mammography day, which is used as a reminder for women to schedule their annual mammograms to help detect breast cancer early.
It is recommended that women begin their first mammogram at age 35. If the results are normal, then women continue with their annual mammograms from the age 40. It is important that women are screened annually since mammograms work best when results can be compared and changes can be tracked. Some women find mammograms uncomfortable or painful, but keep in mind that it only lasts a few moments and the benefits of early detection is worth the short period of discomfort. Below are some tips to know before getting a mammogram.
- Try to schedule your mammogram when you are at the end of your menstrual cycle, which is when your breast are least tender. When you breasts are not tender, the compression will be more comfortable and the readings will be more accurate.
- If possible, go to the same imaging center every year so that they can compare films. If you have to go to another imaging site, make sure to bring your films with you.
- On the day of your mammogram, do not wear deodorant, perfume, or powder; all of these items can show up as white spots on the x-ray.
- Avoid wearing a dress as you will only need to undress from your waist up for the mammogram.
- If you have a personal or family history of breast cancer, speak to your doctor about getting the mammograms done sooner.
- Even if your mammogram results are normal, conduct self-exams regularly and consult a doctor if you notice any changes/lumps.
We ask that you celebrate national mammography day by scheduling your annual mammogram!
For more information about mammograms, visit the American Cancer Society.