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Mammograms -- A Few Seconds Can Save a Life

Mammograms -- A Few Seconds Can Save a Life

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Not counting some kinds of skin cancer, breast cancer in the United States is:

  • The most common cancer in women, no matter your race or ethnicity.
  • The most common cause of death from cancer among Hispanic women.
  • The second most common cause of death from cancer among white, black, Asian/Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaska Native women.

You can protect yourself with regular mammograms at Parkland Health Center.

A mammogram is a low-dose X-ray picture of the breast. Although breast cancer screening cannot prevent breast cancer, getting a mammogram is the best way to find breast cancer early. It can show breast lumps when they are too small for you or your health care provider to feel them.

“The age and frequency in which to have screening mammograms remains a widely debated and complex topic,” says Melissa Rooney, MD, oncology, Parkland Health Center. “Women should have an ongoing conversation with their primary care provider assessing their breast cancer risk, so they can participate in shared decision making regarding breast cancer screening. I encourage all my patients who are at average risk for breast cancer to begin discussing screening mammograms by age 40.”

Despite known limitations of mammography, it remains the best tool to detect early breast cancers, according to Dr. Rooney. “Mammography has the ability to detect approximately 85% of breast cancers," she says.

A mammogram only takes a few minutes, but it can help save a life. If you have missed your mammogram, schedule yours today by calling 573.760.8460.

Can’t afford a mammogram? If you have a low income or do not have insurance and are between the ages of 40 and 64, you may qualify for a free or low-cost mammogram through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. To learn more, call (800) CDC-INFO.

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