Cancer is a frightening disease that typically strikes with little to no warning, and is best dealt with through prevention. In the case of breast cancer, NBC Los Angeles says that “while mammograms are not a cure for breast cancer, research has shown early and routine screenings are the best way for women to lower their risks of dying from breast cancer.” However, about 50 percent of all women who undergo regular mammograms don’t always follow through with their appointments.
This is unfortunate because visiting a Los Angeles or San Diego mammogram center like OC Breast Wellness won’t take much of their time, although some women still insist that they’re too busy for that. They believe that simply looking for lumps through a breast self-exam is enough to detect the onset of breast cancer, when in fact something as simple as a change in breast size can already be a symptom of the cancer. A mammogram needs to be performed in order to remove all ambiguities, specifically to distinguish benign tumors in the breasts from cancerous ones.
A mammogram is nothing more than a quick x-ray exam designed to detect any tissue changes on the breast. Calcium deposits may signify a cancerous growth, although radiologists need to analyze them carefully before any conclusion can be made. Depending on the quality of equipment used and the efficiency of the medical personnel, a typical mammogram won’t take longer than 20 minutes. Since x-rays are involved, women are advised to consult with their physician as to how often they should have a mammogram, although those aged 50 to 74 typically undergo the procedure every two years or so.
It’s interesting to note that this particular age group also represents the 68 percent of all breast cancer cases in Orange and San Diego County, according to the California Cancer Registry. However, getting a mammogram in Orange County or elsewhere in the state shouldn’t replace the standard clinical breast exams that women are encouraged to have. Not all women can even qualify for a mammogram if their health doesn’t permit them.
In other words, fighting breast cancer requires plenty of effort on the part of the patient. If they don’t take a mammogram or any other preventive measure, they might regret saying “we’re too busy” when they had the chance of preventing breast cancer after all.
(Info from Cancer Survivor Urges Early Mammograms, NBC Los Angeles, October 22, 2013)