Have you ever felt nervous or apprehensive about getting a mammogram screening done? You are certainly not alone! Unfortunately, there are many common misconceptions surrounding this vital breast cancer screening that leave women feeling confused and even afraid.
As such, it is essential to debunk these misconceptions and set the record straight about mammograms. Let us delve into the facts together so you can make informed decisions about your breast health – keep reading to find out more.
1. Mammogram screenings can cause cancer
While it is true that high doses of radiation can increase the risk of developing cancer, the amount of radiation from a mammogram screening is incredibly low. In fact, a mammogram exposes you to the same amount of radiation you would get over a period of seven weeks from natural surroundings and background radiation.
Studies have also shown that the risk of developing radiation-induced breast cancer from a mammogram is extremely low.
The benefits of mammogram screening far outweigh the risks – detecting breast cancer early can save lives so it is important not to let this misconception deter you from taking charge of your life.
2. Mammogram screenings are unnecessary if I am not experiencing symptoms or do not have a family history of breast cancer
Another pervasive misconception surrounding mammogram screenings is the belief that they are unnecessary if you are not experiencing symptoms or do not have a family history of breast cancer. However, this misconception can be extremely dangerous as the majority of breast cancer cases occur in women who have no known risk factors.
Think of mammograms as an essential tool in your preventive healthcare arsenal, like exercise or a healthy diet. Detecting breast cancer early, especially when it is most treatable, can improve your chances of survival drastically.
3. Doing a breast self-examination is sufficient
Breast self-exams are an important part of monitoring your breast health but they should not be the only tool used to detect breast cancer. Self-exams allow you to become familiar with the normal look and feel of your breasts, which can help you detect any changes that might indicate a problem.
However, breast cancer can grow for years before it becomes large enough to be felt during a self-exam. That is why regular mammogram screenings are still indispensable, as they can detect breast cancer in its early stages before any symptoms or changes are present.
Learn more: Guide to Performing a Breast Self-Examination
4. Mammogram screenings are painful
The idea that mammogram screenings are excruciatingly painful is a complete myth. Contrary to popular belief, the discomfort is often short-lived as your breasts are only compressed for a few seconds to get a clear image. Some women describe the sensation as feeling pressure or tightness, but it should not be painful.
If you are concerned about discomfort during a mammogram, schedule your appointment at least once a week before or after your period to reduce sensitivity. That being said, everybody’s tolerance is different; you can always voice your discomfort during the process and your radiologist will do their best to ensure you feel as comfortable as possible.
Breast Cancer Does Not Discriminate – Get Screened Today
At Thomson Medical, we understand the importance of preventive care and early detection. That is why we offer comprehensive health screenings in Singapore that include mammogram screenings, as well as a range of other tests and assessments to help you take charge of your life and stay healthy.