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Preparing for a Mammogram

At Baylor Scott & White MedProvider, we believe preventative care is just as important as treating illness. Our focus on preventative health and chronic disease management makes us a reliable resource for adult health care. From flu shots and mammograms to the management of diabetes and high blood pressure, our experienced medical professionals work hard to keep our patients healthy and happy.

Who Gets Breast Cancer and Why?

Breast cancer is most commonly seen in females over 30, and the risk of developing breast cancer increases with age.¹ However, this type of cancer can also affect young adults (20-29) as well as males. As of 2014, there were 236,968 women and 2,141 men reported as having been diagnosed with breast cancer.²


While we still don't know exactly what causes breast cancer, we know that it begins when breast tissue cells grow faster than normal and create a lump of tissue. Breast cancer commonly starts in the milk ducts or glands, and, like other cancers, can spread throughout the body.³

Symptoms of Breast Cancer

Common symptoms of breast cancer include the following:³

  • A lump in the breast tissue
  • Changes in breast shape or size
  • Inversion of the nipple
  • Unusual skin texture
  • Redness of breast skin
  • Skin with an “orange peel” appearance
  • Flaking of the areola

Prevention, Treatment and Mammogram Preparation

When it comes to cancer, preventative medicine and early detection are key. One of the most common methods of screening for breast cancer is the mammogram. If a suspicious lump is detected, a biopsy may be required. If it is found to be cancerous, treatment typically involves a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and medication to eradicate the disease.

Researchers are also looking to the future, constantly testing new methods and learning more about how breast cancer functions in the body. Even unusual-sounding ideas like photodynamic (light-based) therapy and plant-based medicines are already being researched.4

To be screened for breast cancer by one of our doctors, you can schedule a mammogram online via the MyBSWHealth portal or call us at (469) 701-9075. To prepare, make sure you schedule it at a time when your breasts will not be tender and take an over-the-counter pain medication if you are concerned about pain. For the clearest images, you should also avoid applying any deodorants or creams to your underarms or breasts.5

Sources

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/statistics/age.htm
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/statistics/index.htm
  3. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/breast-cancer/symptoms-causes/dxc-20207918
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26499768
  5. http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/mammogram/details/how-you-prepare/ppc-20231024