Kim Sink: I promptly scheduled my screening mammogram after my 40th birthday.
Mammography is the most widely used screening tool for bad cancer detection. As a member of the health care community, I know the importance of mammograms, so I promptly scheduled my screening mammogram after my 40th birthday.
In celebration of Breast Cancer Awareness month, I sent a group text to friends also their 40th in 2018. I was surprised that none of them was planning to schedule their screening mammogram.
As I started to inquire why I found that they had conflicting information on when screening mammography should begin and had not been discussed with their health care provider. The American College of Radiology recommends screening mammography annually starting at 40, and earlier if an immediate family member has been diagnosed with bad cancer. Women should be discussing family history and asking about screening mammography – we are our own best healthcare advocates.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says bad cancer is among the most common cancers among American women and getting regular mammograms can lower the risk of dying from bad cancer.
More than 240,000 women get bad cancer and more than 40,000 women from the disease each year in the United States. While men also get bad cancer, they account for less than 1 percent of all cases.
The CDC cautions that most women who have bad cancer have no known risk factors and no history of the disease in their families.
While bad cancer screening can not prevent bad cancer, it can help detect bad cancer in its early stages, when it's easier to treat and it provides a better outcome.
To make getting a mammogram more convenient, New Hanover Regional Medical Center does not require women ages 40 and older to have an order from a physician to schedule a screening mammogram. OB / GYN, however, to receive your results.
The day of your appointment, a mammographer will review your family history and bad health.
A registered mammography technologist will explain the exam and perform it in a private mammography suite.
X-rays of your bads will be taken from several angles. Compression is used to improve the quality of the images and lasts five to seven seconds.
The entire process takes about 10 minutes.
A board-certified radiologist reviews and badyzes the images and compares them to your previous mammograms. You will receive your results in the mail as well as from your provider.
NHRMC offers 3D Mammography at five convenient locations, late night and Saturday appointments.
The 3D mammogram is similar to a conventional mammogram but it has been proven to be more accurate. A 3D mammogram captures multiple images or slices of the bad from several angles, creating a multi-layered image. The radiologist can then look at the bad tissue in thinner layers, helping to make a more accurate diagnosis. That helps reduce anxiety and false positives while detecting more invasive bad cancers. It is an improved exam for women that have high bad density.
Kim Sink works with New Hanover Regional Medical Center Health and Diagnostics.