National Mammography Day: It’s Time to Get Checked

Today is National Mammography Day, which is celebrated annually on the third Friday in October. October also marks National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

National Mammography Day

Breast_Cancer_Awareness_MonthAccording to Breastcancer.org, about 1 in 8 U.S. women (12%) will develop breast cancer in their life.

It is best to detect cancer and abnormalities as early as possible, and one of the best ways to do this is with a mammogram.

National Mammography Day was first started by President Bill Clinton in 1993. Since then, the day has served to remind women to get checked as soon as possible.

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

There are many ways you can meaningfully celebrate breast cancer awareness month.

1. Make a donation to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. This will go towards getting mammograms for    those who can’t afford it.

2. Host a fundraiser, whether with your community or business to help raise money.

3. Volunteer with the National Breast Cancer Foundation to educate people and make a difference.

Mammograms

A mammogram is essentially an X-Ray used to detect early forms of cancer. Oftentimes, women won’t even be able to feel abnormalities until a few years after they are formed. Mammograms help pick up on these abnormalities early on.

Woman_receives_mammogram_(3)If a problem is detected, you should get further tests to determine the exact nature of the abnormality. Schedule a follow-up appointment with your doctor.

Your doctor will most likely suggest you get a diagnostic mammogram, which will help further pinpoint the problem. Oftentimes, doctors will just tell you to watch the problem area to see if it changes over time, but if the abnormality is cancerous, make sure you get all the information you need from your doctor and don’t panic.

Mayo Clinic suggests women get annual mammograms beginning in their early 40’s.

It’s best not to wait until you feel an abnormality to take action. You want to find the problem before it’s too late. Don’t put it off—get a mammogram today.

Early Detection

A mammogram might be the best form of early detection, but there are other methods of detecting breast cancer. A breast ultrasound is relatively inexpensive, and takes pictures inside the body using sound waves.

It is important to keep in mind, however, that this test is not meant as a stand alone detection of breast cancer. It is normally used after a mammogram or after an abnormality is detected to better pinpoint its nature.

Breast MRIs can also be used in conjunction with mammograms to better understand abnormal areas. An MRI uses a magnetic field, radio pulses, and a computer to give detailed images about the body.

If you or your doctor notices a problem area, get it checked out. But because most women don’t show symptoms until more advanced stages, it is a good idea to get screened even if everything seems normal. Don’t wait for symptoms to appear.

Take care of your body and sign up for a mammogram today.

 

Check out our post on Cancer Prevention and Help When You’re Diagnosed.

 

Image courtesy of Google Images