Why Women in their 40s Should Start Getting Annual Mammograms in Boise

Mammograms are important screenings to detect breast cancer in the earliest stage for the majority of women. However, a lot of women skip or avoid their routine mammogram appointments. An annual mammogram Boise can save lives. Medical professionals recommend that women who are at least 40 years old should have annual breast screenings. 

How Mammograms Detect Breast Cancer

Mammograms are the best method to diagnose breast cancer early, which allows patients to get early treatment. During a mammogram, the breast is placed in a machine between two plates, which compresses the breast tissue to get a clear image. The images created are stored on a computer for viewing and analysis.

Mammograms can find tiny lumps or other breast tissue changes. When abnormal tissue is discovered, a follow-up mammogram or a breast biopsy may be required.

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Who Must Get a Mammogram in Boise?

The majority of medical organizations agree that women must consider having routine mammograms when they reach the age of 40. As a woman ages, the benefits of getting these screenings become more essential. Having regular mammograms can reduce breast cancer deaths.

Breast cancer risk factors include age, breast density, and genetics. And a woman’s risk for this cancer increases with age.  Those who have a close relative who suffered from breast cancer are at an increased risk. Women who have dense breast tissue are also at a greater risk than those who do not have it. But even women who do not have risk factors for breast cancer must also get annual mammograms. The majority of patients with breast cancer have no risk factors. 

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Symptoms of Breast Cancer

Early breast cancer is not easy to detect without imaging tests and breast examinations. Because of this, annual exams must be sought. But every woman should look for some signs and symptoms of breast cancer including the following:

  • Changes in the appearance of the breast nipples. Any change in the shape or size of the breast that does not have to do with pregnancy or surgery should be a cause for concern. Some changes to look for include breast swelling, dimples on the breast, breast shrinking, an altered breast symmetry, as well as red and scaly skin on the breast.
  • Changes in how the breast or nipples feel. Symptoms such as breast pain and breast lump are associated with breast cancer.
  • Nipple discharge. Nipple discharges must be assessed if a woman is not pregnant or breastfeeding. This is especially important if the nipples are producing bloody and clear discharges.