A mammogram is a low-radiation X-ray test performed to examine the tissue within the breasts and help detect irregularities that could be indicative of serious conditions, such as breast cancer.
It is used as part of the diagnostic process in patients that are experiencing symptoms, but it is also an essential tool for prevention. This type of test can sometimes detect irregularities like palpable lumps, for example, before other symptoms arise. Detecting breast cancer early is important to help the treatment be as effective as possible.
As part of a preventive mammogram, both breasts are examined, usually from 2 different angles. At what age is it recommended to start getting regular mammograms? According to the American Cancer Society:
- Between the ages of 40 and 44, women should have the option to get annual mammograms if they so wish.
- Between the ages of 45 to 54, they should get tested every year.
- After the age of 55, they should do so every 2 years or continue getting yearly tests, depending on their medical history.
It is worth reiterating that mammograms entail certain limitations and risks you should discuss with your doctor. It is also very important to perform self-exams regularly to detect any irregularities. On the other hand, if there is a history of breast cancer in your family, or if you are genetically predisposed or exhibit any other risk factor, the recommended ages to get tested may be different. Your best bet will always be to talk with your doctor to obtain guidance and make informed decisions.
At Salus, we have radiologists, gynecologists, internists, and other specialists ready to assist you. Make your appointment today by calling 787.789.1996.