As part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, National Mammography Day is observed annually on the third Friday of every October. The goal of this observance is to remind everyone that early detection is the best defense against breast cancer, and that mammography screening is the single most effective method of early detection. It is important to note, however, that a single screening test is not enough. That’s because the key to the effectiveness of mammograms is their regular performance, which helps to create an essential basis for comparison that allows physicians to watch for changes that occur over time.
Considered by many experts as the “gold standard” in breast cancer detection, mammography saves many lives because this technology can often detect breast cancer in its earliest stages, before any outward physical signs (such as a palpable lump) develop. In addition, the sooner that breast cancer is detected, the less likely that highly invasive and uncomfortable treatments will be required, and the more likely that a patient will experience a positive outcome and quality of life. For these reasons, breast cancer survivors comprise the largest group of cancer survivors.
On National Mammography Day – and throughout the rest of the year – Moffitt Cancer Center encourages all women to schedule, receive or make a commitment to getting a mammogram. In addition to having regular mammography screenings, women can take further charge of their breast health by:
- Understanding their personal risks for developing the condition
- Performing a breast self-exam every month
- Reporting any unusual changes promptly to a medical professional
- Having a clinical breast exam performed by a physician on a regular basis
Currently, mammography is the only exam approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to screen for breast cancer in women who have no symptoms of the condition, such as a breast lump. In general, breast cancers found through screening mammography are smaller and less advanced, with less spread to lymph nodes and other organs, than cancers that are detected in women who do not have regular mammograms.
All of the latest breast cancer screening techniques are available at Moffitt. In a single location, our screening services are complemented by diagnostic testing, advice, treatment and support from a multispecialty group of experts who are experienced with all aspects of breast cancer treatment.
If you would like to request an appointment for a mammogram at Moffitt Cancer Center, you do not need to obtain a referral. To get started, call 1-888-MOFFITT or complete our new patient registration form online.