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National Mammography Day is almost here: Schedule your mammogram

National Mammography Day is almost here: Schedule your mammogram

As Breast Cancer Awareness Month kicks off this October, we at East Jefferson General Hospital are dedicated to helping the women of New Orleans prevent breast cancer. For women, one of the most effective ways to lessen risk is to get breast cancer screening, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS).

Encouraging women aged 40 and older to have recommended breast cancer screenings is what Breast Cancer Awareness Month is all about. President Clinton thought it was so important that he designated the third Friday of October as National Mammography Day. You can celebrate this National Mammography Day by reminding the women in your life to have their annual screening. You can also share this helpful information about mammograms!

National Mammography Day and its importance

Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women, according to the ACS, and women aged 45 and older with average risk should schedule a mammogram every year. National Mammography Day is an essential part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month because it reminds women to do just that.

Regular breast cancer screening is so important because:

  • Mammograms help detect breast cancer early. A mammogram is an X-ray that can detect signs of breast cancer before you start experiencing symptoms. It’s at this stage that you’ll have the best chance of beating breast cancer.
  • You’ll know your next steps. Once you finish your annual screening, you can know whether you’ll need to have additional tests such as a diagnostic mammogram.
  • Mammograms help save lives every day. By getting screened every year, you can reduce your risk of dying from breast cancer by 25% to 30%.

If you’re planning on scheduling your screening soon, we recommend choosing a day when you won’t be menstruating. Your breasts may be extra tender or swollen during that week or the week leading up to your period, so choose a different time to limit discomfort.

Mammograms are a critical women’s health service for women aged 40 and older and can help radiologists detect breast cancer before it spreads. This National Mammography Day, share this information with the women in your life to help them prevent breast cancer.

Seeing double—screening and diagnostic mammograms

You may not know that there are two different types of mammograms. When you go in for your annual appointment at East Jefferson General Hospital, you get a 3D screening mammogram, which is covered by most insurance providers, including Medicare and Medicaid. This mammogram shows any lumps or masses that may have formed in your breasts and helps radiologists with early detection of breast cancers.

For this type of screening, your radiologist will:

  • Examine X-ray images of the breasts. Using 3D imaging technology, your radiologist can get a close look at the internal structure of your breasts to find any abnormalities.
  • Look for any white spots. Potential signs of breast cancer like cysts or lumps show up as white spots in the mammogram that might require follow-up.
  • Identify changes in your breasts. By comparing current images of your breasts to previous screenings, your radiologist can keep you in the know about how your breasts may have changed.

If your breasts have an abnormal area, you will need to have a diagnostic mammogram. A diagnostic mammogram is only for women who have symptoms of breast cancer or suspicious test results from their initial breast cancer screening. The goal of this mammogram is to determine whether you have breast cancer.

Due for a mammogram? Learn how the Women’s Imaging and Breast Care Center at East Jefferson General Hospital can serve you.