Dr. Nathalie Johnson on myths and truths about mammograms
Nathalie Johnson, MD, medical director of Legacy Cancer Institute and Legacy Breast Health Centers appeared on KGW's Portland Today to discuss myths and truths about getting the ever-important mammogram:
Women should start getting screening mammograms at age 40.
Legacy Cancer Institute recommends annual screening mammograms for all women starting at age 40. Why? Because one in eight women will get breast cancer, but nearly all survive if it's caught early. Regular mammograms are the best way to do that.
Mammograms always hurt.
MYTH: While there is pressure, most women report no pain when the breast is compressed during the procedure, usually for less than 30 seconds. Compression doesn't harm your breast in any way, and it's necessary to get a clear image. If you have particularly sensitive breasts, you may want to schedule your mammogram at a time during your menstrual cycle when your breasts are least tender.
Women with dense breast tissue are more likely to get breast cancer.
TRUTH: Dense breast do increase the risk of getting breast cancer and it is more challenging to detect with mammography only. All of Legacy’s Breast Health Centers offer 3-D mammography, which is one of our best tools to find breast cancer especially in dense-breasted women.
The radiation from a mammogram will give me cancer.
MYTH: By age 50, about one in ten women has been diagnosed with breast cancer. One in eight women in the Northwest will get breast cancer in her lifetime. There is no evidence that radiation from mammograms causes breast cancer. The amount of radiation from a mammogram is the same as you get from the environment in just seven weeks.
Click here to watch the segment on KGW.