Finding breast cancer early could save your life. When found in the early stages breast cancer is easier to treat and the person has a better chance of beating this terrible life taking disease.
What is a mammogram?
A mammogram is an X-ray taken of the breast that can detect cancerous tumors in the breast that are too small to feel by hand examination.
When should you get a mammogram?
If no problems are found at your regular doctors examination or when giving your self-exams, a woman should get a mammogram when she turns 40 because in younger women contracting breast cancer is rare, but it does happen, so if you feel you need to have a mammogram or are at increased risk because of a family history of breast cancer or other factors talk with your doctor about the need to have one done at any age.
Breast cancer increases as you age, so after age 50 you should have a mammogram yearly.
Every woman should do self-examinations monthly to be sure to catch any problems early on, your doctor can instruct you on how to do a self-examination and on what to look out for.
Some warning signs of possible breast cancer are:
Lumps in or around breast or indention's, any changes in the shape or feel of the breast, nipple discharge, nipple turning in a different direction, any changes at all should be reported to your doctor and schedule a breast examine.
What to do if you find a lump?
Don’t wait make an appointment as soon as you can with your gynecologist.
Do not ever hesitate to ask your health care professional any questions or concerns you may have concerning your health. Some people get nervous at the doctor’s office and often forget to ask the questions they need answered.
Write down any concerns you have and leave room to write the answer the doctor tells you to review later.
If you do get bad news or the doctor does not explain it to you after you ask, remember it is your body and you can always get a second opinion. And sometimes it is a good idea to get a second or even third opinion.
Seek medical advise from a specialist who knows what he/she is doing before having any major invasive procedures done. It is better to be safe than sorry. The patient should always feel comfortable and safe with their choice of health care physician.