Mammogram screenings are an essential part of women’s healthcare and are instrumental in helping catch breast cancer early. If you live near the Tucson, Sierra Vista, or Phoenix, AZ areas, you can request an appointment with one of our breast imaging offices at Genesis OBGYN.
When Should I Start Getting Mammogram Screenings?
Our providers typically begin to recommend annual mammogram screenings for patients aged 40 or above if they are at average risk for breast cancer. If you have a higher risk, your provider may recommend that you begin screenings earlier. You may have a higher risk for cancer if you have:
- A family history of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, or other inherited types of cancer.
- BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations.
- Received chest radiation treatments at a young age.
- A history of high-risk biopsy results.
A screening is not a diagnostic mammogram. Screening mammograms are conducted as preventative care and allow your provider to look for abnormalities, like masses or calcifications. Annual screens should happen regardless of whether you’re experiencing symptoms of cancer or not.
What Happens During a Mammogram Screening?
When you arrive for your screening, you will put on a front-opening gown. A technician will place your breasts on a plate of the machine. Another plate will be placed above and pressed down to flatten your breasts so the technician can take an x-ray. You may feel some slight discomfort from the pressure, but this is completely normal.
At the end of the procedure, you can get dressed and return to the rest of your day. Your provider will inform you of the results of your mammogram screening as soon as they have them.
Early Signs of Breast Cancer
There are a few signs that women can look out for, which may be an indication of cancer, such as:
- A lump in your breast
- Change in the appearance of your breast
- Redness or pitting of the skin over your chest
- Scaling, crusting, flaking, or peeling of the areola
Routine self-exams and clinical exams with your provider can help you catch early signs of cancer.
Schedule Your Mammogram Screening at Genesis OBGYN
If you have noticed one of the signs of breast cancer or are approaching the time for your next mammogram screening, reach out to a provider at Genesis OBGYN. We are here to support patients across Tucson, Sierra Vista, and Phoenix, AZ, and ensure they have access to expert care.
Contact us today to schedule your mammogram.