Breast cancer affects millions of women across the globe. In fact, about one in eight American women develop invasive breast cancer.
Early breast cancer detection is key to successful treatment and survival. At Southern Crescent Women’s HealthCare in Fayetteville, Newnan, and Stockbridge, Georgia, our expert providers perform mammograms for women of all ages.
Whether you missed your last mammogram or have never scheduled your first, keep reading to learn six reasons why you should schedule your next mammogram as soon as possible.
1. You want to protect your health
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women in the U.S., accounting for approximately 30% of newly diagnosed cases each year. Mammograms help detect breast cancer early, significantly increasing your chances of successful treatment and long-term survival.
If you skipped your last mammogram or haven't had one in several years, now is the perfect time for this preventive measure. Remember, early detection is your best defense against breast cancer.
2. A close family member had breast cancer
Having a family history of breast cancer significantly increases your risk of developing the disease. In fact, a first-degree relative with breast or ovarian cancer can nearly double your breast cancer risk, while having two close relatives with these cancers can triple it.
Bottom line? If you have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, it's crucial to get regular mammograms to detect any potential problems as early as possible.
3. You’re a woman without a family history of cancer
Although many women falsely believe the contrary, regular mammograms are important for all women, even if you don’t have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer. It's simply a myth that mammograms are only necessary for those with a strong genetic predisposition.
In fact, nearly 90% of the women diagnosed with breast cancer each year have no significant family history of the disease. This goes to show the importance of regular screenings for all women, since breast cancer can affect anyone.
4. You’re over age 40
While breast cancer can occur at any time, the risk increases with age. Most breast cancer cases are diagnosed in women over age 40. Advanced age is a primary risk factor, and women aged 55 and older account for the majority of invasive breast cancer diagnoses.
In fact, it's important to keep scheduling regular mammograms as you get older, even if you've had clear results in the past. Regular mammograms play a crucial role in early detection as you age.
5. You have significant risk factors for cancer
Several significant risk factors contribute to breast cancer development. For example, testing positive for inherited gene mutations puts you in a high-risk category for breast cancer.
However, other risk factors also significantly increase your chances of developing breast cancer. These include:
- Having dense breasts with more connective tissue
- Starting menstruation before age 12
- Going through menopause after age 55
- Having your first full-term pregnancy after age 30
- Never having a full-term pregnancy or breastfeeding
- Being overweight (especially after menopause)
- Leading a sedentary lifestyle
- Consuming alcohol
It's important to assess your personal risk factors and consult with your provider at Southern Crescent Women’s Healthcare to better understand your risk of developing breast cancer and to determine the appropriate preventive measures.
6. Mammograms are quick and easy
There’s no reason to put off a mammogram, since it’s a quick and straightforward process. Usually lasting 30 minutes or less, this key health screening offers a convenient and time-efficient way to monitor your breast health.
Radiology offices often provide flexible appointment times, allowing you to choose a slot that fits your schedule. Whether it's during your lunch break or before or after work, finding a suitable time is convenient and hassle-free.
To learn more about mammograms or to schedule one, call 770-991-2200 or book an appointment online with Southern Crescent Women’s HealthCare today.