I’m often surprised by how frequently I hear the question “Do I really need a mammogram every year?” Many of the mammography technologists and breast imaging radiologists who I work alongside regularly field this same question. With the changes made last year by the US Preventative Task Force around guidelines for screening mammography, you too may be asking if you really need a mammogram every year.
At Wake Radiology, we continue to support women having high quality, annual mammograms starting at age 40. Here are some reasons why:
- Mammography, specifically 3D mammography (or tomosynthesis), is the best tool we have for the earliest detection of breast cancer.
- Mammography is the only screening tool proven to reduce the rate of death from breast cancer.
- Getting a mammogram is usually free. The Affordable Care Act ensures that all health insurance plans cover a yearly exam. That’s how important this screening is.
- Most important, breast cancer – when it’s caught early – is highly treatable and curable.
We’re not the only medical organization that supports annual screenings starting at 40. Hopefully, these resources will provide additional information in helping you decide when you should begin annual mammograms.
- An article from the American College of Radiology
- An article from the US Department of Health and Human Services
- A video from the Society of Breast Imaging
Consider 3D Mammography
When you do have an annual screening mammogram, consider having a 3D mammogram. This revolutionary technology has been proven to decrease callbacks by up to 40% and increase detection rates by up to 50% – providing patients with better results and peace of mind.
Wake Radiology is committed to helping detect and prevent breast cancer at the earliest stage possible. That’s why we’ve invested to install 10 3D Hologic Genius mammography units at our offices throughout the Triangle. We’ve created a video to help explain the differences between 2D and 3D mammography.
A Promise to Get Screened
If you’re 40 or older, we recommend you consider adding screening mammography to your preventive healthcare plan. With locations throughout the area, we make it convenient to get this life-saving exam. Plus, walk-in appointments are always welcome.
During October, we’re asking women to join together to make a “pinky promise” that they’ll get a screening mammogram within the next 12 months. If you do so before October 31, 2016, you’ll be entered to a pink leather Michael Kors handbag, too!
You can request an appointment online for your annual screening mammogram or by calling 919-247-3200.