10 Reasons to Get a Mammogram Now
By Helen Pass, MD, Director of Breast Surgery and Co-Director, Breast Center and David Gruen, MD, MBA
You’ve heard it before and will likely hear it again: early detection from mammograms saves lives. Here's why a mammogram appointment is too important to put off.
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- Mammography has helped reduce breast cancer-related deaths in the U.S. by 30% since 1990.
- You really should begin yearly mammography screening at 40. The risk of breast cancer increases significantly beginning at age 40 and continues to rise as you get older.
- You're never "too old" to get a mammogram. Since mammograms find breast cancer on an average about 5 years earlier than you can feel it, we recommend that women over 70 continue to get annual mammograms as long as their general health is good.
- Finding early-stage breast cancer allows more treatment options and a better opportunity for long term survival. Early detection allows for much less aggressive treatment and can often be easily completed as an outpatient.
- More than 3 out of every 4 women diagnosed (75-85%) have no family history or known risk factors. That means, even if there is no history of breast cancer in your family, you are still at risk! Remember, an average American woman has a 1 in 8 lifetime risk of developing breast cancer. This is all the more reason to get a mammogram.
- Stamford Health's Breast Center provides same-day results during business hours and performs additional imaging if needed. For your convenience, we also offer weekend, evening and walk-in appointments. You can choose from Breast Center locations in Stamford, Darien, Wilton and Greenwich. Don't let being too busy be an excuse for skipping your yearly mammogram.
- 3D mammograms detect breast cancer at an earlier stage with fewer false positives. 3D mammography, or digital breast tomosynthesis, has also improved our cancer detection rate by more than 50%. Stamford Health was the first in the region to offer 3D mammograms to all women and will continue to do so.
- Connecticut has the highest per capita incidence of breast cancer in the country. This jarring fact is why our recommendations for breast cancer screening are slightly more proactive than those of some national organizations. Stamford Health's Breast Center follows guidelines from the American College of Radiology, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the American Medical Association and The National Comprehensive Cancer Network.
- Through the support of community grants, Stamford Hospital is able to provide mammograms to anyone who is uninsured or whose insurance does not cover breast cancer screening, as long as you qualify. Please don't let financial concerns stop you.
- Stamford Health's Breast Center was the first Accredited Center in the U.S. to be recognized by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) and remains the only accredited program in the Stamford-Norwalk area. We are also the recipient of the Gold Prize for the CT Quality Improvement Award. This level of recognition shows our ongoing commitment to clinical excellence and patient care.