One of the simplest and easiest ways for women to stay on top of their health is to have a mammogram starting at age 40 and each year thereafter. It takes just minutes, results are relatively quick, and it gives you a feeling of control over your life. There are multiple reasons why you should never skip a mammogram.
Not Just A Frivolous Recommendation
Women are reminded via all media to have their annual mammograms from TV ads, social media, and billboards. There is an entire month devoted to getting women to an imaging center for their annual mammogram. You have heard this for years, and maybe you thought it was unnecessary to have one every year, just a precaution or a way to remind you, but surely you don’t need one every single year. Wrong!
A recent study disproves that false belief. A study was conducted in Sweden with half a million women participants from 1992 until 2016.
It discovered the following:
- Women who participated in the last two yearly mammograms prior to a diagnosis of breast cancer had the largest reduction in breast cancer death.
- Missing either one of the last two screening tests added a significantly higher risk of death.
- Maintaining the consistency of mammograms lowered the risk of death by 49%
Recommending yearly screening mammograms is not just a hollow recommendation. It could save your life.
COVID’s Effect On Mammogram Screenings
Thousands of women put off their mammogram during the height of the pandemic. Sometimes it was unavoidable, but it isn’t now. If you missed one, don’t procrastinate any longer. Now is the time to schedule your next mammogram with your OB/GYN.
Consider that early stage cancers have more treatment options and will need less invasive surgery. According to the American Cancer Society, stages 0 and 1 have a survival rate of almost 100%. Stage 2 has a 93% survival rate. These happen to be exactly the kinds of cancers you can’t feel, but a mammogram can detect.
What Is Stopping YOU?
Some women are afraid of the results and would rather keep their heads in the sand. Others avoid the screening because it’s uncomfortable. If you have tender breasts, schedule on day 7 to 14 of your menstrual cycle.
Some consider themselves too young and healthy to have breast cancer, which is the worst excuse of all.
Talk with your doctor about whether annual screenings are needed at your age. Once a woman turns 55, she may have them every other year.
Don’t play Russian Roulette with your life. Have a mammogram every year.