Paint Nevada Pink: Get A Mammogram

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) has been at the forefront of promoting awareness of breast cancer issues and is a helpful resource for practices like Comprehensive Cancer Centers. NBCAM and Comprehensive recognize that, although many great strides have been made in breast cancer awareness and treatment, much remains to be accomplished.

NBCAM and Comprehensive Cancer Centers remain dedicated to educating and empowering women to take charge of their own breast health. We encourage regular self-breast exams to identify any changes, schedule regular visits and annual mammograms with their healthcare provider, adhere to prescribed treatment and know the facts about recurrence.

“A much as women are aware of breast cancer, and the need to take ownership of their health, there is still much work to be done to get more women to self-screen and identify potential issues as early as possible,” said Margaret A. Terhar, MD, FACS, a breast surgeon at Comprehensive Cancer Centers. “We celebrate National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and National Mammography Day in order to promote awareness and to empower more women to pay attention to  their health.”

Dr. Terhar noted that after self breast exams, which is how most women get introduced into looking out for breast cancer, the next important step to take is to schedule annual mammograms. Recommendations for mammograms can vary by age, with personal and family histories critical factors in creating timelines for testing. For women with average risk, at Comprehensive we recommend mammograms at age 40.

Comprehensive’s breast surgery team recommends women generally adhere to the following guidelines, working in conjunction with their primary care physicians:

  • Women before the age of 40:  Family history of breast cancer or other cancers
  • Women ages 40: Baseline reference mammograms
  • Women age 40+: Mammograms every year

The third Friday in October each year is National Mammography Day, first proclaimed by President Clinton in 1993. On this day, or throughout the month, women are encouraged to make a mammography appointment. In 2020, National Mammography Day will be celebrated on October 16.

A mammogram, for those who may not be aware, is an X-ray picture of the breast. Physicians, such as Comprehensive’s Dr. Terhar, use mammograms to look for early signs of breast cancer.

Tips for Getting a Mammogram

  • Try not to have your mammogram the week before you get your period or during your period. Your breasts may be tender or swollen then.
  • On the day of your mammogram, don’t wear deodorant, perfume, or powder. These products can show up as white spots on the X-ray.
  • Some women prefer to wear a top with a skirt or pants, instead of a dress. You will need to undress from your waist up for the mammogram.

Women should continue to get mammograms according to recommended time intervals. Mammograms work best when they can be compared with previous ones. This allows the radiologist to compare them to look for changes in your breasts.

An abnormal mammogram does not always mean  there is cancer. You will need to have additional mammograms or tests. You may also be referred to a breast specialist or a breast surgeon like Dr. Terhar and the team at Comprehensive Cancer Centers. A referral does not necessarily mean you have cancer or need surgery, but these doctors are experts in diagnosing breast problems. Doctors will do follow-up tests or conduct a biopsy to diagnose breast cancer..

Comprehensive Cancer Centers Can Help

Physicians at Comprehensive Cancer Centers provide a variety of treatment options for breast cancer including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery,  and world-class clinical research and immunotherapy.  To schedule an appointment with the team at Comprehensive, please call 702-952-3350.

 

The content in this post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.