October is the official Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Aimed at early detection and awareness it’s important because The National Cancer Institute reports that an estimated 232,340 women will be diagnosed with cancer in 2013 and 39,620 women will die. As long as you’re not pregnant, The American Cancer Society and doctors recommends a woman obtain her first screening mammogram between 35-40 years old, and go for follow-up screenings every 1-2 years.

Breast Cancer and the Importance of Mammograms

What is a Mammogram?

Are you wondering what a mammogram is?  Mammograms have been described by many women as uncomfortable because the breast is compressed between two firm flat panels.  According to Stoppler (n.d.) “mammogram is an x-ray test that produces an image of the inner breast tissue on film. This technique, called mammography, is used to visualize normal and abnormal structures within the breasts.

Mammography, therefore, can help in identifying cysts, calcification’s, and tumors within the breast. It is currently the most efficient screening method to detect early breast cancer. Breast self-examination (BSE) on a monthly basis and examination by a doctor are still important, but physical examinations typically find breast cancers when they are much larger than those detected by mammography.” (Mammogram, para. 2).

The Two Types of Mammograms

There are two types of mammograms used to screen for breast cancer. A screening mammogram checks for breast cancer in women that have no signs or symptoms of the disease. Diagnostic mammograms check women for breast cancer once a lump or other sign or symptom of the disease has been found.

Fortunately the discomfort only lasts a few seconds for a procedure that could be a life saver. Mammograms are not foolproof, but advanced breast cancer screenings can help reduce breast cancer deaths in women ages 40 to 70. If a person receives abnormal mammogram results additional testing, such as a biopsy, may be obtained.

Overall adult women of every age should perform breast self-examinations every month to help you become familiar with the look and feel of your breasts. This will aid you in knowing when to report lumps and/or breast pain to your health care provider immediately. Self-examinations can be done in the shower, in front of a mirror or lying down. Everyone should know the importance of breast cancer, and if you are between 35-40 years talk to your doctor about getting a mammogram.

Jamacia Magee, FizzNiche Staff Writer


Stoppler, M. C. (n.d.). Mammogram.

Images Courtesy of Canva.

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About the Author: Patricia Davis Brown

Patricia, like her blog, is not a one-dimensional designer, which is evident in her accolades of 17 national design awards. Over a 38-year career in the industry, she has carved a niche in several areas of design. Licensed in interior design and certified in kitchen and bath design, she offers a full menu of design services ranging from whole house interior design, kitchen and bath design, lighting design, full remodels, commercial design and universal (ADA) design. Patricia is a sought-after speaker in the industry and has been published in many publications as seen on her interior design firm’s website, https://www.patriciadavisbrowndesigns.com/. She writes for such publications as QuinStreetinc, Relaxed Remodeler, and eHow.com talent offering design tips.