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Women > Breasts > Mammograms

Beating Breast Cancer the Wize Woman's Way by Susan Weed Mammogram: Making a Difference, but what is a mammogram?

A mammogram is the process of taking an x-ray of the breasts to look for any indication that there may be some sign or symptom of breast cancer and in New Zealand there is a free breast screening service available for women between 45-69 years of age.

While women under 45 do not usually benefit from regular mammograms as the detection rate is poor and the risk of breast cancer is low, the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation recommends women between 40 and 50 have a mammogram every year and twice yearly from age 50 years.

When you have a mammogram done, generally two x-rays of each breast will be taken. One for a vertical view down through the breast and one side on. What happens is simply that the individual breasts are sandwiched between two plates and an x-ray is taken. Unfortunately many women report that this procedure is very uncomfortable and some say downright painful, but it can detect a good percentage of tumours or irregularity for further investigation and a biopsy.

While mammograms often detect tumours that are present but cannot be felt, they are not 100% accurate. A few will pass undetected but approximately 90% to 95% of breast cancers are detected with mammograms. According to the American Cancer Society, women with regular mammograms reduce their risk of dying from breast cancer by more than 60%.

Mammogram criticism

Alternatives

Instead of a mammogram which is often an uncomfortable or even painful experience, a new generation of thermography and ultrasound devices are appearing to provide painless and more accurate breast examinations.

While many argue that breast cancer, or any cancer is a lifestyle disease, the primary alternative to getting breast cancer is to keep yourself in tip top shape, mentally, physically and emotionally... Well for most this is well nigh impossible. So what do you do?

Breast massage - yes its simple, its old fashioned, but its also very practical. It helps you to keep in touch with your body so you will notice any changes and get medical advice. After all, breast cancer is indiscriminate, it kills women of all ages and self examination and complements mammograms.

positivemamNote that in statistical data, when a person is diagnosed and treated for cancer, if they live for for five years, but then die, the treatment is considered a success.

Further reading
Breast massage
Breast Enhancing Massage
The Brassier
Bras causing cancers
More on breast cancer

References
Positive Mammogram: Death Call or Opportunity for Enlightenment.
Breast Health, The Wise Woman Way By Susun Weed
 

 



 

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