When we look at the statistics related to breast cancer, the number seems to be burgeoning every day. Currently, there are over 240,000 active cases and over 4 Million who are either recovering or are in remission in the U.S. alone which seems to be quite a number.
According to the Breast Cancer ORG’s official website, every 1 in 8 women is vulnerable to breast cancer. The website also states, “In 2023, an estimated 297,790 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in U.S. women.” This is why experts are now stressing the importance of mammograms more than ever.
Understanding the Causes of Breast Cancer
Various causes can be attributed to the occurrence of breast cancer. Women who have a family history are known to have contracted breast cancer. Family History of Cancer and Its Association With Breast Cancer Risk Perception and Repeat Mammography by Gillian Haber states,
“Breast cancer risk perception was associated with the type of cancer found in first-degree relatives and with the person’s relationship to the family member with cancer”.Gillian Haber
Other causes include age, obesity, alcohol consumption, and gene mutation.
Power of Mammograms: Detecting Breast Cancer with Precision
A mammogram is one of the many diagnostic tools available for the detection of breast cancer. It emits X-rays that give the diagnostician a better look at the breast tissue. Not only does it capture the breasts in their completion but it also manages to radiate lower rays that harm the body. Apart from obvious lumps it also shows calcifications, mutations, and irregularities.
Considering its efficacy, the National Library of Medicine conducted a study on women aged between 39 to 49 years which revealed that mammograms
“generated a 17% reduction in breast cancer mortality.”National Library of Medicine
The reduction is significant as many women often diagnose it late which leads to ineffective treatment methods. Recently, the oncologists have shifted their concentration to 3D mammograms. So what makes them different?
To begin with, it does provide a better image quality as it showcases the tissues in multiple dimensions which is not a facility that is available when you choose 2D ones. Additionally, the cancer could be hidden if you have thick tissues.
This could be averted with a 3D mammogram that can give you a better comprehensive picture and bird’s eye view of the breast corners. People have also reported more false positives when going for 2D mammograms, this is eliminated when depending on advanced technologies.
Lastly, 3D mammograms have been known to catch lumps or earlier stages of cancer that are otherwise clouded when it comes to 2D. This means they can get the treatment required as soon as possible which will decrease their mortality rate. However, it is safe?
A Gentle and Comprehensive Approach to Breast Cancer Diagnosis
Breast cancers can also be diagnosed through physical exams, ultrasound, MRI, and biopsy. Physical exams can be as unreliable as they sound while biopsies are painful. When it comes to MRI and Ultrasound the diagnosis is often limited which means mass or cyst is the only discoverable option.
Mammograms on the other hand open a lot of horizons in tandem with lesser invasiveness. As pointed out by doctors and scientists alike, the process hardly takes around 20 minutes and has very little impact on the body.
As a word of caution, Judy Garber, a senior oncologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute says, “ Instead of deciding at 30 to have your breasts removed because you might get breast cancer sometime in the next 50 years, maybe you could wait until you’re 60 after you’ve had your children and you’ve gone through your life.” The evolution in the medicinal field is sure to raise hopes as time goes by. Until then, it deserved all the good word of mouth it gets.
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