Why are Screening Mammograms Important for the Early Detection of Breast Cancer?

press release from piedmont walton

Photo credit: Piedmont Walton

Monroe, Ga., (Oct. 7, 2021) – October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. One in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime making breast cancer one of the most common types of cancer among women. In 2021, the American Cancer Society estimates that more than 280,000 cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in the U.S., and more than 43,000 will die from breast cancer. 

Although U.S. deaths associated with breast cancer continue to decline, still more can be done to increase early detection and survival rates. Mammography is the best way to screen for breast cancer checking for the disease before symptoms appear. A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast which can detect abnormalities in the breast tissue earlier.

Regular mammography screening has been shown to lower the risk of dying from breast cancer. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network recommends routine mammography for women starting at age 40. Women are encouraged to speak with their primary care physician about their risk factors, as well as determine when is the right time for them to start getting screening mammograms.

Mammogram technology has greatly improved, and Piedmont Walton Hospital offers the latest in breast imaging, including tomosynthesis 3-dimensional (3D) breast imaging. Tomosynthesis 3-dimensional breast imaging produces a series of contiguous, thin slices of breast tissue allowing doctors to examine breast tissue one layer at a time.

Although no screening test is 100 percent effective, the combination of routine self breast exams, an annual clinical breast exam, and mammography have been shown to be very effective means of screening for breast disease. 

For more information on breast health services at Piedmont Walton Hospital or to schedule your mammogram, visit www.piedmont.org

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