Read This Before Your Mammogram: Breast Cancer Prevention Tips
Mammography Day is this Friday but before you book your annual mammogram; there are a few things to take into consideration.
- Breast density – There is a lot of controversy surrounding mammograms because they often don’t show the whole picture, especially in the case of a dense breast. On a mammogram, fat appears as a black mass but dense breasts appear to have white mass in them, which is how a tumor appears on the x-ray as well. Sometimes when a radiologist or doctor sees those white masses of dense tissue, they can miss the tumor on the mammogram.
- Your age – Recent recommendations were released that said women don’t need to get regular mammograms until age 50. This is a change from the original recommendation of regular mammograms starting at age 40. Some insurance companies won’t even cover the cost of a mammogram if you aren’t the right age and don’t have a prescription from your doctor. Holistic gynecologist, Dr. Deanna Howard, recommends you discuss this with your doctor and insurance company before scheduling a mammogram.
- Radiation Exposure – Some say that mammograms can be dangerous due to the high amounts of radiation received from a mammogram. There are certain women who have a gene, oncogene AC, that is very sensitive to radiation. Those who have this gene should be cautious when deciding whether or not they should receive a mammogram.
- Other screening options – If you or your doctor found a lump, there are other screening measures in place aside from mammograms. Ultrasounds and sonograms are a great tool and can sometimes detect tumors in the breast even if it’s dense. A thermogram is a heat imagining technique that detects hormonal changes in the breast, which can be an early indication that something isn’t right. Another option is a biopsy, which is more invasive, but if you feel a lump, it’s the surest way to know whether or not it’s cancer.
- Over diagnosis - Some scientists are saying there is an over-diagnosis of breast cancer due to mammograms. Sometimes what looks like a tumor isn’t really a tumor at all. There have also been instances when a mammogram will reveal breast cancer that would never even affect a woman’s health during her lifetime.
While mammograms are controversial, only you can determine whether or not it is the right screening option for you. According to holistic oncologist, Dr. Gino Bottino, early detection is the key when trying to treat and survive breast cancer.
Even though early detection is great, prevention would be even better. Here are a breast cancer prevention tips to reduce your risk of needing early detection to save your life:
- Don’t drink too much – a study found there is a connection to alcohol consumption and the risk of breast cancer.
- Eat healthy and exercise – we know, we know - you’ve heard this one before. But it’s true!
- Ditch that synthetic hormone replacement therapy – try to find a more natural way to balance your hormones, like bioidenticals.
- Stay away from xenoestrogens and other harmful environmental pollutants.
- Maintain a healthy weight – if you’re overweight or obese, you have a much higher risk of getting breast cancer.
Whether you’re trying to prevent breast cancer or want to screen for early detection, our doctors can help. We can create a wellness plan based on your individual needs or develop a holistic breast cancer treatment program that’s right for you. Book an appointment with one of our holistic physicians today by call 212-661-4441.