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Mammograms Facts

Posted Jan 07 2009 2:56pm
-- a mammogram is a safe, low-dose x-ray of the breast to look for any abnormalities and our best tool in finding breast cancer

-- All women age 40 and older should have a mammogram every 1-2 years. If you have a strong family history of cancers in your family your doctor may recommend yearly mammograms earlier on.

-- Mammography has a false-negative (missed cancer) rate of at least 10 percent. Normal breast tissue can hide a breast cancer causing the false negative result.

-- Deodorant, talcum powder or lotion may show up on the X-ray as calcium spots, it's best to not apply these until after your exam.-- radiation exposure is a potential risk of mammogram screening, but the risk is minimal compared to the number of lives saved and breast cancer cases that have been caught early enough to treat successflly

-- magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), has shown substantial progress in being an alternative to a mammogram

-- mammograms have been shown to lower the risk of dying from breast cancer by 35% in women over the age of 50; studies suggest for women between 40 and 50 they may lower the risk of dying from breast cancer by 25–35%

-- The FDA enforces The Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA), a national law that approves all of the places where you can get a mammogram. It also makes sure that all of the people who work there have the right training and education, including the people who test the equipment to make sure it's working, take your mammogram, and study your mammogram.

-- for best results, bring your old mammogram results to be compared to your current one, take family history into consideration, and have more than one radiologist read your study.
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