Mammogram: Mammogram is a special X-ray of the breast used to detect breast cancer early. There are few risks associated with mammography. Mammograms may show suspicious areas of the breast, white spots, and microcalcifications. Risk factors for breast cancer include age, genetic predisposition, family history, medical history, fibrocystic breast disease, therapeutic radiation exposure, menstrual cycle, previous pregnancies, hormone therapy for menopause, oral contraceptive use, breastfeeding, alcohol, smoking, obesity, and lack of physical activity.
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Breast CancerBreast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer in women. Symptoms and signs of breast cancer include breast lumps, nipple discharge or inversion, or changes in the breast's skin. Treatment typically involves some type of surgery and depends upon the staging of the cancer, the tumor type, and the person's health.
Breast Lumps and PainBreast changes are common. From the time a girl begins to develop breasts and begins menstruating and throughout life, women may experience various kinds of breast pain and other breast changes. Causes of pain and lumps can include fibrocystic breast disease, premenstrual syndrome, cyclic mastalgia, normal hormonal fluctuations, onset of puberty or menopause, pregnancy, breastfeeding, estrogen therapy, chest wall tenderness, injury to the breast, shingles, use of certain medications, an infection in the breast, and breast cancer. If you have a lump in your breast, your doctor will check for various possible causes.
Breast Self-ExamMonthly breast self-examinations (BSE) have not been shown to reduce the risk of dying from breast cancer. However, a monthly breast self-exam is important for a woman to become familiar with her breasts and any changes that may occur over time that may signal a breast disease or condition. Symptoms and signs to look for when performing a breast self-exam are nipple discharge; red, swollen, scaly, or itchy nipples or breast tissue; sudden breast pain that does not go away; changes in breast size or shape; dimpling of the breast or nipple; or a lump or lumps in the breast. Notify your health-care professional if you detect any unusual changes in your breasts.
Common Health TestsCommon health tests may be performed in your doctor's office or even in the pharmacy. Regular health checks and screening for certain diseases and conditions have become routine for most. Common health tests include a mammogram, cholesterol tests, and colonoscopy.
CheckupSome people expect to have a yearly medical checkup, and others feel that a checkup once every two to three years is sufficient. In the past, most medical groups advocated an annual health exam. However, more recently, the American Medical Association and other similar groups have moved away from the yearly exam.
General Medical Checkup Some people expect to have a yearly medical checkup, and others feel that a checkup once every two to three years is sufficient. In the past, most medical groups advocated an annual health exam. However, more recently, the American Medical Association and other similar groups have moved away from the yearly exam.
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- Studies Point to Reasons for Mammograms in 40s
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- CDC: Cancer Screening Below Target Rates
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- False-Positive Mammograms Linked to Breast Cancer
- Women Who Skip Annual Mammograms