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5+ Things To Know Before Getting a Mammogram

5+ Things To Know Before Getting a Mammogram

Ahhh being a woman. It comes with many joys and unique talents. It also comes with extra bodily issues that men rarely have to deal with. Like a monthly cycle. Or child birth. Or the fear of losing our breasts to cancer.

Some facts from the National Breast Cancer Foundation:

–One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.
–Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide, claiming the lives of hundreds of thousands of women each year and affecting countries at all levels of modernization.

Naturally many of us are worried that WE are the one in eight. That’s why there have been massive public information campaigns pushing early detection and treatment. Since our teens, most of us have known that turning 40 means the start of regular mammograms. We’ve also known that there’s nothing pleasant about getting one of these tests: would you offer up one of your breasts to get smashed and x-rayed for anything else? Hell no. But to prevent or detect cancer, yes. And so for years, women did.

Now new research shows that all that discomfort and radiation exposure might not be worth it. A pair of studies, one out of Harvard and one out of Canada, have found that the benefits of mammography, though real, have been oversold, while the harms have been minimized. Meanwhile, the high price tag of mammograms puts a nice chunk of change in the pockets of the insurance and medical industries.

Whether or not you choose to get a mammogram, you can (safely) help detect cancer through regular self check-ups. Read the bottom of the infographic for tips to properly self-exam.

Explore the pros versus cons for yourself in the infographic below. Then tell us: do you get regular mammograms? If you’re not yet in the target age range, do you plan to start once you reach it?

Mammograms
Infographic Source: BestMedicalDegrees.com

Related:
I’m a Breast Cancer Survivor Who Found My Own Lump
5 Things About Breast Cancer You Should Take to Heart

Read more: Cancer, Gynecology, Health, Menopause, Women's Health, , , , , , , , ,

Image via Thinkstock

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Beth Buczynski

Beth is a freelance writer and editor living in the Rocky Mountain West. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog or check out her blog.

62 comments

+ add your own
4:44PM PDT on Jun 20, 2014

Thermography is safer and less invasive. Plus it doesn't hut as bad either. If it is offered in your area, request it.

After being left standing half-naked for over 20 minutes while the technician took a break, and being squashed at the same time, a person doesn't recover from that. I was ready to cut the breast off myself. Had I been able to reach a knife, I think I would have.

12:44AM PDT on Jun 15, 2014

thanks

2:00AM PDT on Apr 21, 2014

Thank you :)

3:57AM PDT on Apr 15, 2014

Thank you.

5:24PM PDT on Apr 7, 2014

Well, is good to know this info; and i will go with the doppler ecosonogram, is less traumatizing...

12:19PM PDT on Apr 4, 2014

This is so frustrating!

11:30AM PDT on Apr 4, 2014

TYFS

10:11AM PDT on Apr 4, 2014

I have refused mammograms simply because I've had too many friends get a false positive, go crazy with worry, only to be told it was "nothing" later. That's a test that simply doesn't work. I do firmly believe in self exams, as well as mindful monitoring of your overall health, but this particular test is something that provides profit to the screener, with little to no benefit (IMHO) to the patient.

6:17AM PDT on Apr 4, 2014

Thank you

4:02AM PDT on Apr 4, 2014

thanks

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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