Why Do I Need a Mammogram This Year if Last Year’s Was Normal?
The American College of Radiology recommends that women begin having yearly mammograms starting at age 40. Many women wonder, though, the purpose of this recommendation if their previous mammograms have been normal. We’ll discuss this question here.
Mammogram screenings are not about prevention; they are about the early detection of changes to breast tissue. Women often feel relieved to receive normal mammogram results. However, one normal result does not guarantee another. Data demonstrates that breast cancer deaths decreased by 15 to 29% among women in their 40s and 50s as a direct result of routine mammography.
The primary concern about mammography as a standard breast cancer screening is the chance that a woman could receive a false-positive result. False positives may be more likely in younger women and those with denser breast tissue. In these instances, doctors do not rush into a diagnosis. If a mammogram were to exhibit an abnormality, a doctor will typically order additional testing. This may include a second mammogram or a breast ultrasound. In some cases, an identified breast lump may need to be biopsied. All follow-up tests are performed to help the physician make an accurate diagnosis. Also, studies indicate that approximately 80% of the women who undergo additional breast imaging due to a positive mammogram show no indication of breast cancer upon further testing. False positives are often related to overlapping layers of normal breast tissue, not breast cancer.
Why 3D Mammography Makes Sense
All women who visit PURE Mammography for annual breast imaging receive a 3D mammogram. This technology, compared to traditional 2D imaging, is more accurate. The chance of false positives and a need for additional imaging is as much as 40% lower with 3D mammography than older forms of imaging. The test is convenient and comfortable, and it usually takes no more than 20 to 30 minutes for the whole process to be performed. Our center for breast imaging has been established to promote supreme comfort and peace of mind.
To learn more about mammography screenings and breast ultrasounds performed at our Long Island center, call 631-652-3424.