5 Mammogram Myths Debunked

(Originally Posted on May 2, 2015)

There is no doubt that one of the most important things you can do for your breast health is to schedule your yearly mammogram appointments and keep them. A mammogram can detect abnormalities in your breasts well before you will ever feel them yourself. Even though mammograms are one of the more important tools used for early detection in breast cancer, there are still many rumors, which keep many women from making and keeping these very important appointments. 

Myth 1: Mammograms Are Painful

Everyone’s idea of pain is different and everyone has a different threshold of pain, but mammograms can hardly be called painful. They can fairly be called uncomfortable, but if you are nervous about getting one because of the way it feels, rest assured that it won’t be nearly as bad as you think it will. It will be slightly uncomfortable to some people, but not to all, and it won’t last long. 

Myth 2: Mammograms Are Dangerous 

Mammograms have been called into question by some people because it exposes you to an x-ray machine. Some people feel the radiation from the x-ray is dangerous and could cause cancer. The amount of radiation used in a mammogram is very low. The risk associated with exposure to such a low amount of radiation is nearly always outweighed by the benefits of regular mammograms.

Myth 3: Mammograms Are Inaccurate And Don’t Help

This is completely untrue. While mammograms can’t be completely accurate all of the time, there is no doubt that mammograms save lives every day. There is no other tool, which effectively detects breast cancer early enough to treat. Don’t just listen to second hand stories about inaccurate findings. Look at the facts about mammograms and know that it’s going to be to your benefit that you keep your mammogram appointments.

Myth 4: I Don’t Need To Have A Mammogram If My Doctor Hasn’t Told Me To

It’s too bad that not everyone can depend on their healthcare providers to let them know when and where to make their mammogram appointments.  We simply can’t rely on a doctor to tell us when to make it. Sometimes Doctors don’t see us regularly enough to tell us these things. It is recommended that women start getting mammograms at the age of forty. Some might need to start earlier because of health or family history.

Myth 5: I Am Healthy And Have No Family History, So I Don’t Need To Have A Mammogram

Breast cancer can strike anyone at anytime. Many cases of breast cancer patients have no family history of breast cancer, and they were completely shocked when diagnosed because they felt fine. The idea behind mammograms is that it catches it early enough before you start to feel and see other symptoms. Early detection is key in beating cancer. 

There are many myths surrounding mammograms. Don’t be fooled into believing these myths. Palm Beach Obstetrics & Gynecology can help you learn the facts and understand the benefits of getting a mammogram. You might be extremely thankful you did. If you are in the Lake Worth, Palm Beach Gardens, or West Palm Beach areas, call us at 561-434-0111, and schedule an appointment. 


Dr. Lorna Williams

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