The amount of radiation is extremely minimal and is comparable to the amount of radiation your entire body receives from the sun during a 1000 mile plane trip.
A screening exam is done on a woman without any identified concerns. A diagnostic exam is performed when the woman or her caregiver report a symptom, such as a lump, discharge, etc.
We recommend yearly screening mammograms for all "average risk" women beginning at age 40. Women of "average risk" do not have symptoms and do not have a family history of breast cancer.
With women living longer, there is no specific recommended age to stop getting mammograms. If you are in reasonably good health, you should continue getting yearly mammograms.
Up to 85% of breast cancers are random and occur in women with no family history or specific risk factor for breast cancer.
Less than 15% of breast cancers have known genetic links and only about 5% have a detectable gene mutation such as the BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 gene mutations.
Mammography is the only screening test proven to decrease the death rate from breast cancer. Additional imaging is done in specific cases and in patients with increased risk factors. Thermography contributes little to the detection of breast cancer.
Most people diagnosed with breast cancer do not die of their disease. If found early, breast cancers can be curable more than 95% of the time.
The survival rate from breast cancer has increased by about 2% per year over the last 10-15 years, mostly as a result of early detection on mammograms.
Call back imaging is usually done to clarify a finding on your screening exam. Most of the time, the finding is cleared up and you go back to regular annual screening.
60-70% of biopsies result in a benign (non-cancerous) result.