If you're under 30 years of age, you might not think it's important or necessary to have a breast mammogram completed right now. Although doctors recommend that women over age 50 undergo mammograms, some younger women may also need to examine their breasts, especially if they have family histories of cancer. Here's why it's important to have a mammogram early and how you can prepare for it.
Why Should You Have a Mammogram?
If a doctor diagnosed your mother or grandmother with breast cancer, you may also be at risk for the disease. Breast cancer can run in some families. Cancerous genes can pass from one close relative to another. If you don't examine your breasts now, you may not know that you have the disease until it's too late.
Breast cancer can begin anywhere in the breast and lymph tissues. The cancer often begins as a small lump but can also show up as a large mass. Unless you perform regular manual exams of your breasts at home, you may not feel the lump growing in your breasts.
A mammogram uses special radiology equipment to detect lumps and masses of all sizes. The growths can appear as white blotches in the images. Some doctors use 3D mammogram technology to examine their patients' breasts.
If a doctor does find a lump or mass in your breasts, they'll perform an MRI on you. An MRI can produce more precise details about the lump or mass, including its exact location and size. A doctor may also use the information to design and begin your treatment.
Now that you know why it's important to have an early mammogram, you can prepare for yours.
How Do You Prepare for Your Exam?
If you suffer from sore breasts, try to ease your discomfort by taking a warm bath before your appointment. You may also drink a cup of warm tea to help relax your body. However, avoid rubbing lotions and oils on your breasts before your appointment. These things can interfere with your test results or make it difficult to perform the test.
You can also prepare for your test by taking a short nap. Sleep can help alleviate any stress you might be under. Some women can become jittery and nervous before their mammograms. If you still feel nervous when you arrive to your appointment, tell your doctor right away. A doctor may give you something to relax.
To learn more about mammograms and why you may need one, contact a doctor today.
My name is Shawna Banks and this is a blog that focuses on health issues that affect women. I became interested in women's health when my sister began having medical problems. After her condition worsened, she went to see a doctor. After her diagnosis and successful treatment, I helped her research the different kinds of health conditions that are common in women. By becoming knowledgeable about these types of problems, we can keep ourselves healthier. I hope that when you read this blog, it will help you to identify symptoms that shouldn't be ignored. If necessary, you can schedule an appointment with your physician as soon as possible.