Even though breast cancer has become one of the most treatable forms of cancer, it is still a major health concern for millions of women. In fact, 12% of women (roughly 1 in 8) in the United States are likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer over the course of their lifetime.

There is no one way to prevent yourself from developing breast cancer. But scheduling a yearly mammogram screening is one of the best ways to catch cancer in its early stages, especially if you're a woman who is over 40 years old.

What Is A Mammogram?

Mammography is the process of using X-rays to examine breasts in order to look for cancer, while a mammogram is the actual name of the procedure (the names are sometimes confused). Mammogram screenings can be done in two different ways:

  • Screening Mammogram: This is the most common type of mammogram, as they are routinely performed on women who show no signs or symptoms of cancer. The X-rays are used to look for any tumors or lumps that cannot be felt by hand, as well as calcium deposits that indicate the presence of breast cancer.
  • Diagnostic Mammogram: This type of mammogram is performed on women who have found lumps in their breasts or have other symptoms of breast cancer. The process is still the same, but doctors will instead take considerably more X-rays from several angles and at different levels of magnification in order to make a proper diagnosis.

Why You Need To Schedule A Yearly Mammogram

The easy answer to this question is because it's a simple test that doesn't take a lot of time, isn't painful, and has no adverse health risks. However, that answer sometimes isn't enough to convince some older women how important it is to schedule an annual mammogram screening.

Several clinic studies have shown that mammograms can significantly reduce the risk of dying from breast cancer for women between the ages of 40–74. Some studies have even estimated it can reduce the chance of death by up to 35% in women over 50, which only further indicates the importance of older women having a mammogram on a regular basis. 

It's Quick And Usually Covered By Insurance

Depending on what type of screening you are having done, mammograms only take about 15–45 minutes to complete. More importantly, most insurances companies will completely cover the cost of a mammogram, especially for women over 40. The National Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program is also able to provide free screenings for women without insurance.

Breast cancer, like all forms of cancer, should be taken very seriously and there is no better way to fight it than by having a routine mammogram done every year. They are safe, easy, and incredibly effective, which means there is no excuse for you not to have one! Visit a medical center like EVDI Medical Imaging today to receive a mammogram.