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Mammography
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Resource Description: 
The National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP). Through the NBCCEDP, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides low-income, uninsured, and underserved women access to timely breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services
The National Cancer Institute coordinates the National Cancer Program, which conducts and supports research, training, health information dissemination, and other programs with respect to the cause, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of cancer, rehabilitation from cancer, and the continuing care of cancer patients and the families of cancer patients.
A division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a federal government source for women’s health information.
Episode number: 
708
Transcript: 
Mammography (transcript)

(Source:  National Cancer Institute / NIH)  A mammogram is a special type of X-ray of the breasts. Mammograms can show tumors long before they are big enough for you or your health care provider to feel. They are recommended for women who have symptoms of breast cancer or who have a high risk of the disease. You and your health care provider should discuss when to start having mammograms and how often to get one.

How is a mammogram performed?

Mammograms are quick and easy. You stand in front of an X-ray machine. The person who takes the X-rays places your breast between two plastic plates. The plates press your breast and make it flat. This may be uncomfortable, but it helps get a clear picture. You will have an X-ray of each breast. A mammogram takes only a few seconds and it can help save your life.

Source:  National Cancer Institute / NIH

Mammogram recommendations

The recent controversy over when—and how often—women should begin having mammograms has left a wake of confusion. Now that the new recommendations have been analyzed in the news media, this episode explores the fully story full story behind the recommendations. This episode also helps you understand how to work with your physician to assess your own risk factors and determine what works for you.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) is a group of health experts that reviews published research and makes recommendations about preventive health care. In November 2009, the USPSTF has issued new mammogram guidelines.  This episode of Second Opinion offers a healthy debate about the new guidelines, and what they mean to women as they decide when to begin mammography.

Key Point 1

A woman's risk of developing breast cancer requires an individual analysis of a variety of risks—some are lifestyle, others include family history and ethnicity. All women should work with their physicians to assess their individual situation at each routine visit since personal risk factors will change over time.

Key Point 2

Mammography continues to be an important life-saving tool in the fight against breast cancer.  To determine when you should begin having mammograms—and how often--talk to your doctor about your individual history, ask questions, and make the decision that is right for you.

Medline Plus

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Conduct an off-site search for Mammography from MedlinePlus.  These up-to-date search results are based on search terms specific to Second Opinion Key Points.

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