Common Myths About Mammography

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These are common myth and presumption about mammography. Some are so widely spread and treated like a common sense.

Mammography is painful.

Expect some discomfort as the breast is compressed for even distribution tissues. However, the compression is only momentary and the discomfort for most patients is tolerable.

I don’t need a mammogram unless I feel a lump or have symptoms.

The reality is, screening mammograms are for women with NO lumps or other symptoms. The best time to find cancer is before you can feel it.

If my doctor did not recommend a mammogram, I do not need one.

In most studies, they found that the reason women most frequently give for not having a mammogram would be whether their primary health care doctor suggested it. If your doctor does not suggest mammography and you are in the correct age group, it is up to you to raise the issue.

“No Woman has ever been shown to develop breast cancer as a result of mammography.”
– Dr. Stephen Feig, Radiological Society of North America, December 1997

I’ll be exposed to too much radiation
The reality is, with today’s equipment radiation is minimal. It is far more dangerous not to find breast cancer at its earliest stage than to be exposed to a low dose of radiation. A typical standard mammogram would be equivalent to about 2 hours in the sun.

My grandmother and mother never had breast cancer, so I don’t have to worry about it.

The reality is, if you are a woman, and getting older, you are at risk of breast cancer. 70 – 80% of women who have breast cancer do not have family history of the disease. A woman with family history of breast cancer should talk to her doctor about getting checked more often. But all women, once they reach the age of 40 should consider a regular mammogram.

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