It's a test doctors say can save thousands of lives each year. A mammogram is about 90-percent accurate in detecting early breast cancer. It should be done as early as age 35, particularly in women who have a family history of the disease.
Women should have it done at least every two years from age 40 to 49 and every year after age 50. But even with those guidelines, many women are still hesitant to get screened.
Many say they're simply fearful of a diagnosis, even though breast cancer is entirely treatable.
Two compressions of each breast are done during a mammogram, which is why some women complain of pain or discomfort during the procedure. But there's something women can do every month that is less painful and can help detect breast cancer.
Young women, especially those not getting annual mammograms should do a monthly self-breast exam immediately following their period.
These two simple tests, one you do at home each month, and one a health professional does each year, can save your life.
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