Early detection of breast cancer improves the chances of successful treatment, according to the American Cancer Society. The goal of a mammogram is to show breast cancer when it's small and confined to the breast, before you and your doctor can feel it. With breast self-exams and awareness of how your breasts normally look and feel, the goal is for you to be able to notice any changes and schedule a follow-up with your doctor. When you catch breast cancer early, your doctor can immediately help you consider all of your options, including mastectomy, radiation and other paths to fighting the cancer.
Talk to your doctor about when you should start getting mammograms and how often you should get them. For a woman with average risk, many doctors recommend an annual mammogram starting at age 40. The main reasons mammograms are important are:
- Regular mammograms give your doctor a way to visually compare changes in your breasts year-to-year.
- Mammograms often show lumps that are too small to be felt by hand.
- Research has shown early detection of breast cancer improves the outlook (prognosis) of your disease.
Starting in their 20s, women may decide to perform regular breast self-exams. Most medical authorities say these exams are not absolutely necessary, but women should at least become familiar with how their breasts feel normally, and then go to their doctor if they notice any changes.
Our experienced breast surgeons are committed to helping patients access the information and education they need. We serve all of Denver, Lone Tree and the surrounding areas in Colorado. To learn more about us, please call us at (720) 457-4461.