In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and National Mammogram Day on Oct. 15, Dr. Twisha Verma, Houston Methodist Breast Care Center radiation oncologist, spoke on the importance of routine checkups.
What is a mammogram?
A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast tissue. It helps to look inside the breast to see if there are any early signs of breast cancer development.
What is the importance of getting a yearly mammogram?
Getting a yearly mammogram can increase the chances of early breast cancer detection and more successful treatment.
How is mammography used?
The images are reviewed by a specially trained radiologist who can evaluate for any critical findings and also monitor for changes year to year.
At what age should women start getting mammograms?
Currently, most guidelines suggest discussing with your physician about starting screening mammograms at age 40. If you have a family or personal history of breast cancer or other high-risk factors, screening may be recommended at an even earlier age.
What are the benefits of screening mammograms?
Breast cancer control and survival are significantly higher for early stage breast cancer than later more advanced stages. Screening mammograms have increased the detection of early stage breast cancer.
What is the best method of screening for breast cancer?
Screening mammography has been shown to be the best tool for monitoring for breast cancer development in women over the age of 40.
What is the importance of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month?
It is important to bring awareness to the most common type of [nonskin] cancer diagnosed in women. In the U.S. there is a 1 in 8 chance of developing breast cancer. There are nearly 4 million survivors of breast cancer in the U.S., but sadly over 40,000 women are estimated to die from this disease in 2021. Awareness leads to funding for research to help improve the odds of survival and maybe even decrease the number of women impacted by this disease in the future.