So what should women know about mammograms?
According to the Centers for Disease Control, regular mammograms are still the best tests physicians use to find early cases of breast cancer; in some situations up to three years, before a lump can be felt.
According to the guidelines, women should have mammograms every two years after the age of 50. After 74, there is no need, unless a woman is at high risk. If breast cancer runs in your family your physician may suggest a mammogram before the age of 50.
There are three types of mammograms: screen-film mammography, digital mammography, also called full-field digital mammography or FFDM and a new 3-D image. The techniques for performing all three are the same. What differs is whether the images take the form of photographic films or of digital files recorded directly onto a computer.
The 3-D x-ray mammography device was approved by the fFDA last year. Like the others, it is safe, uses a low dose of radiation although a little higher than the others, but it can give a more in-depth picture and is usually used for women with dense breasts, or those who have had some abnormalities in the past.
It's recommended women talk to their doctors to see which type of mammography is the best for them.
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