Things to Know Before Getting a

Mammogram in Los Angeles

What Is a Mammogram?

A mammogram is a low-dose x-ray of the breast. It is designed to diagnosis cancer in its early stages.

What Is Early Detection of Breast Cancer?

Early detection occurs when you catch breast cancer before it has grown in size and progressed to other parts of the body. Since cancer is easier to treat when it is still localized, early breast cancer detection is key to a good outcome.

How Do You Detect Breast Cancer Early?

There are a number of breast cancer screening tests, including a physical exam, but the most important is a mammogram. In many cases, a mammogram can spot the signs of breast cancer well before a physical exam. That’s because changes in breast tissue, like calcium buildups, can sometimes occur up to three years before a lump can be felt.

What Are the Benefits of a Mammogram?

The benefits of mammography are well known. By detecting breast cancer early, your chances of a successful outcome increase significantly. If you wait until you or your doctor can feel the cancer lump during a physical exam, treatment may already prove more difficult.

Are There Any Downsides to a Mammogram?

The most common complaint is pain during the test. That’s because the x-ray specialist must compress your breast in order to take a high-quality image. The good news is that compression only lasts a few seconds.

Another possible disadvantage is radiation exposure. That being said, the dosage is so small that it poses no real danger unless a patient undergoes repeated tests.

The most serious drawback is the risk of a false positive, which occurs when the doctor sees an abnormality that looks like cancer but turns out to be benign. Patients who get a false positive may have to undergo more tests than necessary. That involves time, money, and stress. In rare cases, they receive a treatment they didn’t need.

Are All Mammograms the Same?

No. There are two different types of mammograms. A screening mammogram and a diagnostic mammogram.

  • Screening Mammogram: Doctors use a screening mammogram to look for changes in women who have neither noticeable symptoms of breast cancer nor abnormalities in the breast area. Mammogram screening involves taking breast cancer images from two separate angles.
  • Diagnostic Mammogram : Doctors may order a diagnostic mammogram if a screening mammogram has picked up abnormalities, or if the woman shows any breast cancer signs. Diagnostic mammograms usually involve taking images from a number of different angles.

How Often Should I Get Breast Cancer Screening?

  • Women who have reached 40 years of age should schedule a mammogram every 1 to 2 years, even if they have no symptoms or known risk factors.
  • Women under the age of 40 should ask their physicians if and when they should undergo screening, particularly if they are in a higher risk category or if they have symptoms.

How Accurate Are Mammograms?

Mammograms can correctly identify breast cancer 84 percent of the time. The test is particularly good at detecting cancer in women who have reached 50 years of age. The sensitivity of the test decreases as the density of breast tissue increases. Since younger women tend to have dense breast tissue, the accuracy is slightly lower for women under 40 years of age.

Where Should I Get My Mammogram?

Ideally, you want to find a healthcare facility that offers state-of-the-art testing from a healthcare team that is as skilled as it is approachable. The most accurate diagnostic test in the world means little, without healthcare professionals who take the time to interpret and communicate the results.

Where Can I Get Mammograms in Los Angeles?

If you’re looking for a mammogram in Los Angeles, call the Surgery Group of LA at 310-289-1518 to make an appointment. Our highly skilled medical team provides the latest diagnostic tests in a patient-centered environment. At the Surgery Group of LA, we treat the person, not the condition. We also know that breast cancer prevention is key to saving lives. Contact us today to schedule a mammogram if you or your primary care physician believe breast cancer screening is right for you.

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