Screening For Average Risk Women
Let’s go back to just the average risk women and that’s most people. So start at 40: I still recommend doing monthly self breast exams. I still recommend doing annual clinical breast exams and doing a mammogram on an annual basis. And that’s a screening mammogram, and what we’re looking for is we’re looking for densities. We’re looking for changes in the breast. We’re looking for microcalcifications, and you’ll hear that term microcalcifications. That’s okay if those show up on your mammogram. It doesn’t necessarily mean cancer.
In fact, 85% are a benign process. It could be something from a previous injury. It could be when the breasts change and women’s breasts are changing throughout their lifecycle. As hormones change, your body changes. Your blood supply really can’t keep up a lot of these changes, especially in your breasts.
Sometimes some of the cells can’t maintain themselves and they die and they leave back a by-product and those are calcifications. So just the fact that you have calcifications on your mammogram does not necessarily mean that you have breast cancer, but it should be further investigated. Whether that’s further imaging or even a biopsy at times. But fortunately, most of those are benign processes and it’s okay. And that’s a discussion that you can have with your breast specialist.
1. Annual clinical breast exams and mammograms are recommended every year.
2. Doctors will look for densities, changes in the breast, and microcalcifications.
3. Just having calcifications on your mammogram does not necessarily mean that you have a breast cancer, but it should be looked into.
4. Most calcifications are not cancer.