Mammography Myth #05: I had a normal mammogram last year, so I don’t need another one this year.

Oct 15, 2019

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Mammography Myth #05: I had a normal mammogram last year, so I don’t need another one this year.

Fact: Screening mammography is detection, not prevention. Having a normal mammogram is great news, but it does not guarantee that future mammograms will be normal. Having a mammogram every year increases the chance of detecting breast cancer when it is small and when it is most easily treated which also improves survival.


Why would anyone question having an annual screening mammogram?

Suburban Imaging supports the American College of Radiology and Society of Breast Imaging’s recommendations of annual screening mammograms beginning at age 40. Findings from randomized trials of women in their 40s and 50s have demonstrated that screening mammograms decrease breast cancer deaths by 15 to 29 percent.

The main concern about mammograms for breast cancer screening is the chance of a false positive result. This means that an abnormality is detected but, after additional testing, it turns out to not be cancer. This is especially a concern in younger women in their 40s and 50s, who may be more likely to have a false positive result.

If an abnormality is detected on a mammogram, a woman may be asked to have additional mammogram images taken and, possibly, additional imaging tests, such as ultrasound. These tests may determine the abnormality shown on the original mammogram isn't worrisome for cancer.

In some cases, it may be necessary for a woman to undergo a biopsy procedure to remove a sample of breast tissue for testing. For many women, having a biopsy that confirms there isn't any cancer present is reassuring and doesn't increase anxiety.

Why should you have an annual screening mammogram?

Early detection saves lives. Since 1990, there has been a 30% decrease in breast cancer mortality rates in the U.S., which is due in large part to the early detection of breast cancer through screening mammography.

Suburban Imaging offers both 2-D and Tomo (3-D) screening mammography at three clinic locations (Suburban Imaging – BlaineSuburban Imaging – Burnsville and The Breast Center of Suburban Imaging, which is located in Coon Rapids).  Check with your health insurance plan to verify coverage of 3D mammography prior to scheduling.

To learn more about screening mammography and to find scheduling information, please visit our website here.



Category: Breast Cancer

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