This article is sponsored by Beaumont Health
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Early detection is the key to successfully treating the disease. Since the start of the pandemic, many women have been putting off getting their annual mammograms, and others have never even had one and may have questions about them. Dr. Lisa Awan, a radiologist with our sponsor, Beaumont Health, joined host Tati Amare to answer some frequently asked questions.
Q. Why are mammograms important?
Mammograms are very important because they are the best tool for detecting breast cancer in its earliest and most treatable stages.
Q. When should women start getting mammograms?
The recommendation is for women to start getting annual screenings at age 40. If you have had a first degree relative, like a mom or sister, with a diagnosis of breast cancer, then you should start getting checked 10 years before the age that they were when they first got their diagnosis.
Q. Should women get mammograms every year?
Yes, get one every year. Being able to compare the screenings from one year to the next is what allows them to make an accurate early diagnosis.
Q. How important is family history and genetics?
A family history of breast cancer is an important factor when it comes to your own personal chances of getting breast cancer. That is why if you have a blood relative with a positive diagnosis you should start getting tested earlier. Speak to your doctor to get information about your own increased risks, and how you should handle testing. However, 90% of all breast cancer diagnoses are random, so even if you have no family history, you should still get checked.
Q. Are there different types of mammograms?
Yes. The normal mammogram is also known as the 2D mammogram and has been around for a while. More recent technology has allowed for a 3D mammogram, which is a much better mammogram, allowing doctors to see through dense breast tissue to find cancers earlier and more easily.
To see the full interview, watch the video above. If you have questions about your risk for breast cancer, Beaumont Health has a free online risk assessment. Visit the website: beaumont.org/mammo.