Ask any OBGYN and they will confirm this: breast cancer is one of the most serious health problems today, and something that you should be prepared for by taking mammograms regularly. For now, the best defense that any woman can have is early detection of breast cancer. Mammograms are still considered to be the tool for this.
Houston has a lot of mammography centers, but it’s still encouraged to find an OBGYN first that you are comfortable with before doing any tests. Clinical breast exams are a sensitive and personal matter, and it would be better if done with the advice of a doctor you can trust. The support of family helps, too. Here are some things that you can ask your Houston OBGYN before getting a mammogram:
1. What is a mammogram? Should I have one at my age?
Women over the age of 40 are suggested to get mammograms more so than younger women. However, it is still better if you ask your Houston OBGYN. You can also ask for more descriptions of the procedure, what machines are involved, and what activities you will be asked to do.
2. How do I perform breast self-exams? How often should I do this?
Aside from mammograms, self-exams are also something that you should do. Ask your doctor how to do this.
3. What happens if I have breast implants?
If you have implants, this is an important detail that you should tell your doctor. The implants have a fair chance of hiding or obstructing breast tissue during examinations. This might result to failure of detecting any problem, if ever. It is important that you should tell your Houston OBGYN if you have had any implants now or have done it in the past.
4. What is my risk for developing breast cancer?
Your doctor would help you go over your family history and trace what possible risk factors there are for you. Women whose mothers, sisters or grandmothers have had breast cancer may have heightened risk and may therefore be recommended to have a mammography now.
5. How long before I get the mammogram results?
Ask your Houston OBGYN if you should expect a call from her or not. Most assume that if they don’t hear from their doctor, the results are fine. It is always good to follow up on the results and discuss them, even if there’s nothing wrong. Ask for written results also so that there will be a record of your test.