Recent statistics have shown that regular mammograms save lives. Deaths from breast cancer in the United States have dropped nearly 1/3 in the past decade with new mammogram technology and increased awareness. Women over 40 should have a mammogram every 1-2 years depending on their physician’s recommendations. If there are any indications of possible breast cancer, a diagnostic mammogram can be done. Women should look for symptoms including: breast or underarm lumps, leaking fluid, and any change in color, texture, shape, or size of nipple or breast. While one of these symptoms does not immediately indicate breast cancer, every woman with one or more of these symptoms should be examined.
Getting Ready for a Mammogram
Decide upon your family doctor, local hospital, radiology center, or other health care service provider. Contact your insurance carrier to determine how your coverage works. You will want to ask which locations you can use and how often you can get screened. Most insurance providers will cover regular mammograms.
When you arrive at your testing site, a technician will explain the process to you. You’ll need to remove clothing from the top half of your body and put on a wraparound covering.
What Happens During a Mammogram
The mammogram will take place in an X-ray room. A radiologist will place your breast between metal plates that will flatten the tissue to allow for the best imaging. It may be slightly uncomfortable, but should not be overly painful. During a routine screening, the technician will generally take only a couple of X-ray images of each breast. A diagnostic mammogram will require more detailed images of particular areas of concern. Most mammograms take 20 to 30 minutes to complete.
At Medical Center Arlington, we also provide a “Softer Mammogram” which offers women a soft foam cushion for their personal use to make their mammogram experience as warm and comfortable as possible.
What Happens After the Mammogram
A specialist will review your X-ray images and look for tumors or calcium deposits indicating possible presence of breast cancer. Your results should be available in less than 30 days. Nearly 10 percent of women may be asked to return for further testing to get a better image of a certain area. In most cases, breast cancer is not found.
- Many insurance companies cover mammograms for women younger than 40.
- Due to denser breast tissue in younger women, an ultrasound may be more accurate for breast cancer detection.
- Mammograms can detect breast cancer much earlier than you or your doctor.
- Skipping a regular mammogram can be very dangerous to your health.
Medical Center Arlington encourages you to schedule your regular mammogram right away. We offer $80 screening mammograms which include the hospital and physician fees. This affordable screening test could save your life so call 817-472-4857 to make an appointment. Also, visit us online to learn more about early detection of breast cancer. If you need a physician referral, please call 1-855-868-6262. Remember, the earlier you detect a breast abnormality, the better your prognosis will be. Be sure to share this information with the women in your life, encourage them to be screened and then schedule your appointment today!