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Mammography or Breast X-Ray

Mammography or Breast X-Ray is helpful in finding early breast cancer. Although breast self-examination is helpful in finding early breast cancer, since mammography is generally even more effective, both methods should be used. A screening mammogram is an x-ray of the breast used to detect breast changes in women who have no signs or symptoms of breast cancer. Usually, two x-rays are taken of each breast. With the mammogram, it’s possible to see tiny deposits of calcium in the breast that may be a clue to the presence of cancer, or a tumor that cannot be felt. Since many women of color begin having mammograms later than other women, it’s very important that they begin having mammograms every year starting at age 40. In addition, women at high risk should talk with their doctor about whether they should start taking mammograms earlier, or have them more often. See also our discussion of Clinical Breast Examination.

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