A routine breast exam can help catch any issues before they get out of hand. A mammogram is one of these, and while you may feel that you are not at risk of breast cancer, it is crucial to make sure that nothing is developing. Mammograms have also become relatively easy to access and have been proved to be safe. We’ve put together a list of four good reasons why you should never skip your routine mammogram.
Family History Is Not an Accurate Predictor of Breast Cancer Risk
Just because no one in your family has breast cancer, this should not be reason enough for you to ignore going for your regular mammogram. Eighty percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history at all, according to the American Cancer Society, so going for routine mammograms should be in every woman’s health calendar, especially after they turn 40.
Mammograms Are Safe
The radiation generated by a mammogram machine is a lot lower than chest X-rays, meaning that they expose you to just about a tenth of the radiation that you are normally exposed to in nature. There are no studies that show that you can get breast cancer from undergoing repeat mammograms, with research showing that a person’s risk of getting cancer from repeated mammograms stands at less than 0.001%. The chance that you may catch breast cancer early enough to treat it effectively makes going for regular mammograms worthwhile.
They Are Extremely Affordable
Mammograms are covered without a co-pay or deductible according to federal law. On private insurance plans, including Medicare, mammograms are entirely free of charge. Even if you do not have insurance, many community resources help you pay for a mammogram. You can check with your local mammography office or physician for a list of these resources.
Mammograms Lower Your Risk of Death From Breast Cancer
Far from being dangerous, mammograms have been shown to lower a woman’s risk of dying from breast cancer by about muhealth.org 30%, because cancers can grow for two years before you feel any lumps, it is possible to miss the signs if you do not go for routine quality mammograms.
Many cancers have more treatment options, less invasive surgeries, and a higher success rate when dictated early enough. Mammograms can potentially catch stage 0 and stage 1 cancers, which have a survival rate of almost 100%, and stage 2 cancers, which have cancer.org 93% survival rate.
The American College of Radiology, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Medical Association, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, and even the National Cancer Institute support are going for regular mammograms after the age of 40.
With many cancer survival stories stemming from early diagnosis and treatment, it is crucial to take all the steps you can to ensure that you are not at risk of developing cancer, and these include going for your routine mammogram.