Signs You Need A Mammogram

Signs You Need A Mammogram

You probably know that mammograms are an important way to make sure your breasts are healthy and detect early signs of breast cancer, but do you know when you need a mammogram and what signs to look for?

The old recommendation from the American Cancer Society was that women should begin getting annual mammograms at the age of 40. That recommendation has been updated and now suggests that women 45 or older should get an annual mammogram, with some research suggesting that these annual exams should start at 50.

The recommendation to wait until age 45 or 50 is for women who are not at high-risk for developing breast cancer due to genetics or family history. In addition to your age, there are other signs that you may need a mammogram. The following signs can usually be detected by performing a self breast exam, which is recommended once a month.

  • Lumps – Most breast lumps are benign, but if you detect any that you haven’t noticed before you should have a mammogram no matter how old you are.
  • Size – It’s not uncommon for breasts to be different sizes, however, if you notice that one of your breasts has increased in size rapidly over a short period of time it may be from breast cancer and you should schedule a mammogram.
  • Nipples – You should not notice any discharge from your nipples unless you are lactating. Signs you need a mammogram include discharge, discoloration, and inversion.
  • Swelling – Your breasts should not normally experience swelling and it can be accompanied by inflammation or a warm feeling. Breast dimpling should also warrant a mammogram.
  • Pain – There are many reasons you might experience breast pain, but throbbing pain or an unusual ache is reason to visit your doctor and possibly have a mammogram.

If you experience any of the signs or have reached the age when annual mammograms are necessary, contact Salem Radiology at (503) 399-1262 to schedule an appointment.

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