Parker County Today October 2016 - Page 34

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 FACT: A woman’s breasts are always changing. Breastfeeding, hormone fluctuations, menstrual cycles, menopause … all affect women’s bodies and their breast health. While the decision to get a mammogram is a personal one, women ages 40 and older need to understand that changes in their bodies mean changes in their breast. Annual screening is the best way to ensure that should a concern arise, early detection offers the best and easiest treatment options possible.

 Myth 2: Mammograms are painful.
 FACT: In most cases, the two breast compressions necessary for an accurate mammogram will be a little uncomfortable, but they should not be painful. Each compression takes 45 seconds, and the entire procedure takes five to 10 minutes. And technologists dedicated to breast imaging understand just how much compression is “enough” to get a good image, while minimizing discomfort. Oliver recommends having your mammogram the week after the end of your period to lessen discomfort. In fact, “89% of our patients experienced no discomfort,” she reported. 

 Myth 3: Mammograms aren’t accurate.
 FACT: Currently, 2D and 3D mammography are the best tools available to detect breast cancer before it can be felt. Mammography is most accurate when performed by a dedicated breast imaging center, by fellowship-trained or dedicated breast radiologists, by radiologists who read