Why you can’t afford to not have a mammogram

by David Modica | September 29, 2016

Mammography Suite

According to BreastCancer.org, roughly one out of every eight women in the United States will develop breast cancer at some point in their life. Unfortunately, many women miss the opportunity to detect breast cancer early by avoiding regular mammograms. 

Swedish Covenant Hospital adheres to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’s recommendations for mammography, which state that women in good health over 40 should receive an annual mammogram. Of course, whether and when to schedule a mammogram should always be discussed with the individual’s primary care physician.

Here are four things that may be keeping you from getting the screening you need. 

1. Worrying about time and money.

A visit to our Women’s Health Center takes 30 minutes on average with same-day results available when possible, and most insurance plans will cover the cost for patients. At our facility, grants from organizations like A Silver Lining Foundation can cover the cost of patients’ mammograms if certain requirements are met.

2. Doubting the accuracy of the test. 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration states having mammograms is 80 percent effective in identifying cancer up to three years before any lumps can be felt. 

3. Thinking you need to wait for a doctor to schedule your test.

A doctor’s order is not required for a screening mammogram. You should schedule a mammogram annually after age 40 while in good health. 

4. Believing that 3-D mammograms offer the same results as 2-D.

3-D Mammography detects 29% more breast cancer than traditional mammography, reducing the number of additional imaging due to false alarms. Traditional 2-D mammogram takes a single image of the breast tissue. Our Mayora Rosenberg Women’s Health Center employs 3-D mammogram, which takes several images at a variety of angles. Radiologists can scroll through these images to see around dense tissue to better detect breast cancer and reduce the number of unwarranted call backs. 

3-D mammograms also use equipment designed for fit and flexibility, allowing women to be more comfortable while receiving their screening. 

WHC women only hallway

In addition to yearly mammograms, women should conduct regular self-examinations. If you are unsure how to do so, please ask your primary care physician to show you. 
Swedish Covenant Hospital’s Mayora Rosenberg Women’s Health Center provides women with a convenient, comfortable setting to access important health services. To schedule a mammogram, please call 773-878-6888.

If you are unsure of whether or not you should schedule a mammogram, please call our breast health navigator at 773-293-5234 or use our Find a Doctor feature to schedule an appointment with one of our primary care physicians. 

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