Kern Family Health Care | Family Health | Winter 2022

FAMILY HEALTH 5 Q How to prepare for your mammogram Q When is it time for a breast cancer screening? Most women should begin having regular mammograms at age 50. Women should have these tests every two years until age 74. Here are a few things to know before you have the test. A mammogram is an x-ray picture of your breasts. It is used to look for signs of breast cancer. The test can spot breast cancer early, before you have any symptoms. That’s when cancer usually is easiest to treat. Your doctor might suggest you start testing earlier if you have an increased risk for breast cancer. One reason you may be at higher risk is if members of your family have had breast cancer. Carlos Bello, MPH, CHES Health and Wellness Supervisor Q Are mammograms safe? These tests are very safe. Mammograms use a low dose of radiation to see inside breast tissue. It’s also important to know that most mammograms don’t lead to a diagnosis of breast cancer. Only about 3 tests out of 1,000 find cancer. Bernardo Ochoa, MPH Member Health Educator Health Education Corner MEMBER REWARD ALERT! If you’re a woman between 50 and 74 years of age, get screened! When you do, we’ll mail you a $15 reward. You can help get the best and most accurate test by following these steps: Schedule it right. Still having periods? Don’t schedule your mammogram the week before your period. That’s when your breasts are more likely to be swollen and tender. Don’t wear deodorant. It can show up on the x-rays as white spots. That can make the images harder to read. Wear a skirt or pants. That way you’ll only need to remove your bra and top to have the test. Talk to the x-ray tech. Let them know if you’ve had any problems, like pain, in your breasts. Also let them know if you could possibly be pregnant. Ask for the results. Call your doctor if you haven’t heard about the results of your test in 10 days. Flor Del Hoyo Galvan, MPH Health Education Supervisor Sources: American Cancer Society; U.S. Preventive Services Task Force