With the ongoing onslaught of the COVID-19 global pandemic, it is of pivotal importance to remember that cancer doesn’t wait or stop for COVID-19. It is, therefore, a good idea to schedule your cancer screenings and also, go ahead with your COVID-19 vaccination. Whether you are currently suffering from cancer or not, regular screenings are the best way for your doctor to identify potential cancer issues at the earliest possible, boosting your chances of effectively treating cancer.
According to Wikipedia, breast cancer screening seems to be the most effective clinical screening of asymptomatic or healthy ladies for breast cancer to get an early diagnosis. Doctors firmly believe that early detection of breast cancer will end up improving the results. Today a plethora of screening tests are performed including self-breast exams and clinical tests, mammography, ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging, and even genetic screening.
A mammogram is supposed to be an effective screening test for detecting breast cancer or changes in your breast tissue and lumps using special X-ray images. The mammogram is best for identifying lumps that are quite tiny and may not be felt or visible when a physical exam is conducted. A mammogram could prove to be immensely helpful for a doctor to identify the next course of action if growth or a lump has been detected. Let us explore some mammography myths.
Myth: Annual Mammography Is Not Necessary If I Have No Family History or No Breast Cancer Symptoms
The fact is that experts recommend annual screening mammograms regardless of family history or symptoms for all women above the age of 40. Doctors believe that early detection and diagnosis of breast cancer are crucial. There is no point in waiting for symptoms to appear because it would be too late by then, and your cancer may have progressed to the advanced stage. As per the statistics provided by the American Cancer Society, early detection of breast cancer seems to have chances of five-year survival in 99% of cases. However, delayed detection or advanced-stage breast cancer has survival rates as low as 27%. It pays to keep in mind that over 75% of breast cancer patients have no breast cancer family history. Screening mammograms help radiologists detect breast anomalies before they can be detected through a physical exam, as shown on Advanced Medical Imaging`s website.
Myth: I Will Be Exposed to Unsafe & Hazardous Level of Radiation
The fact remains that radiation is used by mammograms but it is a negligible amount and very much in compliance with medical guidelines. A mammogram seems to be a safe option, provided you get it done at a facility that has been certified by the authorized regulating agencies. Remember that your exposure to a mammography radiation dose will be equivalent to roughly a couple of months of exposure to background radiation.
Myth: I Can Rest Assured that a Mammogram Will Detect Cancer 100 Percent
Annual mammograms are very effective in detecting breast cancer, but they too have certain limitations. In the case of relatively denser breasts, cancer could go undetected. Doctors recommend a breast MRI and breast ultrasound to enable the successful detection of breast cancer.
Get your mammogram done without fail every year, even if your doctor doesn’t recommend it. It is the best way to ensure early detection of breast cancer and elevated chances of successful treatment.