"It’s the right season to bug the ones you love. Pass out your pink ribbons, run your relays, walk your fundraising feet feverishly, but while you’re at it, remind women you care about that mammograms work! They are an important part of a woman’s annual exam."
[All you have to do is go to the Make a Mammogram Promise website where they've combined taking care of our health with having fun. Go to http://mam4.me/Em any time in October and promise to get a yearly mammogram. You'll automatically be entered to win a daily prize. Then, for each day that you log on to the web site in October, you are eligible to win a glassybaby. ]
Getting a mammogram is one of the most important things a woman can do to protect her health. Unfortunately, more and more women are not getting the message. The percentage of women over 40 who reported having a mammogram has fallen from from 70 percent to 66 percent, a 4 percent decline nationally. That’s why Seattle Cancer Care Alliance is launching the Make a Mammogram Promise campaign.
Mammograms are X-rays that produce an image of the breast to detect abnormalities that may be too small to see or feel. On average, mammograms detect 80 to 90 percent of breast cancers in women who have no symptoms. The American Cancer Society recommends that women age 40 and older have a screening mammogram every year.
Mammography can now be performed digitally for a more accurate diagnosis. Studies have shown that digital mammography can detect breast cancer at its earliest, most curable stages, detecting up to 28 percent more cancers than film mammography in women 50 years of age and younger, pre- and perimenopausal women, and in women with dense breast tissue. A 28 percent increase in accuracy means earlier detection, and most importantly, a better chance of a cure.
“This technology is better at finding breast cancers, gives fewer false positive results, and is more comfortable for the patient,” says Dr. Constance Lehman, MD, PhD, director of Breast Imaging at SCCA.
Many studies also show that doctors who specialize in mammography are more accurate at interpreting mammography images when compared to physicians with less experience.
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