Oakland Macomb Obstetrics & Gynecology P.C

Do I Still Need To Get Mammograms?

Oct 02, 2023

Preventive health care often requires you to undergo various tests and screenings periodically. Keeping track of all of them can be difficult, so it's natural to ask, "Do I still need some of these tests?"

This question often comes up with mammograms. Many women question if they remain necessary as they age and go through several life stages. For most women, the answer is yes. 

At Oakland Macomb Obstetrics & Gynecology in Rochester Hills, Lenox, and Troy, Michigan, we can't stress enough the importance of getting mammograms for early detection and prevention of breast cancer. 

Our team of experts and state-of-the-art facilities ensure precise screenings and quality care every time you get a mammogram. 

In this month’s blog, we answer some of your most pressing questions about mammograms. 

What is a mammogram?

A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast used to detect abnormalities or changes in breast tissue. It's an essential tool for the early diagnosis of breast cancer, making it easier to treat the condition at its more manageable stages.

The process involves compressing your breast between two plates and capturing X-ray images from multiple angles. Though the process can be uncomfortable, it usually takes less than 20 minutes.

General guidelines for mammograms

Health care experts have a consensus on the age range and frequency of mammograms. The American Cancer Society suggests that women aged 45-54 should have mammograms yearly, while those 55 and older can switch to mammograms every two years or continue getting screenings annually. 

But these are only general guidelines, and your specific needs may vary. Personal risk factors such as family history or preexisting conditions can influence your mammogram schedule. As a result, discuss your specific needs with our team. We tailor recommendations just for you.

Life changes and mammograms

As you go through different stages in life, you might wonder if you still need mammograms. Whether you're postmenopausal, have had a mastectomy, or are dealing with other health issues, your need for mammography may change. 

But regular screenings remain crucial for the early detection of breast cancer.

Postmenopausal women

Even after menopause, the risk of breast cancer remains. Postmenopausal women should continue with regular mammograms. Hormonal changes postmenopause can sometimes even increase the risk of developing breast cancer.

Mastectomy or breast surgery

You still need mammograms if you've had a mastectomy or breast surgery. But we draw up a personalized schedule for you. Your plan depends on the type of surgery you had and how much breast tissue you still have. 

Chronic illness

Having a chronic illness does not exempt you from mammograms. Discuss your condition with us to determine the best screening plan.

Common concerns and misconceptions

The question of whether you still need to get mammograms is a valid one, but the answer often leans toward “yes,” especially considering the importance of early detection in effectively treating breast cancer.

Here are some misconceptions and concerns that we often hear.

Mammograms are painful

While there can be some discomfort, the procedure is quick and minimally invasive.

I have no symptoms, so I don't need a mammogram

Having no symptoms doesn’t mean you couldn't be at risk. Mammograms are primarily for early detection when symptoms are not yet present.

I'm too young for breast cancer

While risk does increase with age, young women can and do get breast cancer.

At Oakland Macomb Obstetrics & Gynecology, we're committed to providing individualized and compassionate care to ensure you're in the best hands for your mammogram and any other obstetric or gynecological needs.

So do you still need to get mammograms? For most women, the answer is a resounding yes. 

Schedule yours today by making an appointment with us online or by calling us.