Who should get a mammogram?
For women with an average risk of developing breast cancer, the American Cancer Society presents the following recommendations:
The American Cancer Society is available at 1-800-227-2345 around the clock to answer your questions and provide support.
How safe are they?
Mammography has been practiced for over 25 years on millions of patients. As with all X-rays, mammography involves limited exposure to radiation—however, the amount required to complete the process is small. Because of advances in mammography at large, the radiation dose required for mammographic X-rays has been dramatically reduced over the years.
What are the risks for developing breast cancer?
The main risk to developing breast cancer is simply being a woman—female hormones may attribute to the stimulation of breast cancer growth. The best way to determine your risk level is to consult your physician, however age, genetics, family history, personal history, race, and several other factors may play into measuring your overall risk.
What are the signs and symptoms of breast cancer?
In many instances, there are no warning signs of breast cancer. Breast cancer may, however, appear as a new lump or mass in your breast tissue. A painless, hard mass with irregular edges is more likely to be cancerous, but some cancerous masses are tender, soft, and rounded. Other signs of breast cancer include generalized swelling of breast tissue, skin irritation or dimpling, nipple pain or retraction (turning inward), redness or scaliness of the nipple or breast skin, or discharge (excluding breast milk). Sometimes breast cancer can spread to underarm lymph nodes even before the original tumor in the breast tissue is large enough to be felt.
How can I learn more about breast cancer?
To learn more about breast cancer, its causes and related symptoms, and possible routes of treatment, see the following sources: