Annual Breast Cancer Screenings
Annual breast cancer screenings are a woman’s best defense in the fight against breast cancer. Although screenings cannot prevent breast cancer, they offer the best chance of finding breast cancer early, when it is easier to treat. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the perfect time to schedule your annual screening.
Getting a Mammogram at Baptist
A mammogram takes about 10 minutes, and the entire process is usually over in about a half hour. It is not uncommon for the doctor to request a follow-up visit, especially if it is your first mammogram. But either way, you can be confident that you have done all you can to detect and maybe even prevent breast cancer. Here’s what you can expect when you get your mammogram at Baptist.
If your mammogram does reveal irregularities, you may be asked to return to Baptist for a closer look. The next video in the series above shows what you can expect when you visit Baptist Women’s Health Center for further diagnostic testing.
Why should I get an annual mammogram?
In the United States, 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer by age 75. Regular breast screening can help find cancer at an early and more curable stage. Many women with breast cancer have no symptoms before diagnosis, so screening for the disease may help detect it before it has spread and is more difficult to treat.
Baptist Cancer Center doctors recommend women at average risk for breast cancer start annual mammogram screening at age 40.
How do you screen for breast cancer?
For many women, mammograms are the best way to detect breast cancer early and save lives. Women who have denser breast tissue may need more thorough imaging along with their mammogram. Your doctor can recommend which screening tests are best for you.
- Conventional mammography that produces a single, detailed two-dimensional image of the breast.
- 3D mammography using multiple images to create a three-dimensional view of the breast.
- ABUS, or automatic breast ultrasound, which uses high-frequency ultrasound waves to produce sharp, three-dimensional images of the interior of the breast.
The screening process takes 10-30 minutes.
Is screening covered by insurance?
Yes. Medicare and most commercial insurances will cover those 40 years old or older for an annual test with no out-of-pocket expenses. However, additional testing and follow-up scans between screenings may have a cost, such as a co-pay or deductible. Please check your insurance plan to determine if testing is covered.
Are there risks involved with the screening?
As with all cancer screenings, there are risks. Mammograms expose you to low-dose radiation and aren’t always accurate. And there are some cancers that a mammogram cannot detect. Positive screenings can also lead to additional testing. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about having a mammogram.
Take the Breast Cancer Risk Assessment
Studies have shown that your risk for breast cancer is due to a combination of factors. The main factors that influence your risk include being a woman and getting older. Most breast cancers are found in women who are 50 years old or older. Take a moment to complete our Breast Cancer Risk Assessment questionnaire.
Don’t wait until it’s too late
When it comes to personal health and well-being, some things can wait. But getting a mammogram can’t. The longer you wait, you give breast cancer a chance to grow and spread. Schedule your breast cancer screening today.
Schedule Your Mammogram
To find a Baptist facility in the Memphis area where you can get a mammogram, call 901-227-PINK (7465).
Or call the Baptist Cancer Center nearest you: