Vim & Vigor - Winter 2010 - North Mississippi - (Page 16)
ATION FORM I SS I N
The facts behind common misconceptions about mammography
ou stare at your calendar, uncomfortable with the thought of what lies ahead. Perhaps it’s your ﬁrst mammogram, or you are a seasoned test taker. No matter. The same troubling concerns can weigh heavily on your mind. “People need to know that we’ve come a long way from when I started in this ﬁeld,” says Len Lichtenfeld, M.D., deputy chief medical ofﬁcer for the American Cancer Society. “The technology is getting better now and so are the radiologists on the front lines.” Taking what amounts to an X-ray of the breasts has improved dramatically since mammograms arrived on the medical scene in the late 1960s. Faster, less painful exams under the care of more skilled medical professionals have improved the experience. Women also are now better informed about mammography. The latest ﬁgures from the Food and Drug Administration show that more than 38 million mammograms are conducted on women in the U.S. each year. Yet misinformation remains about these potentially lifesaving exams, Lichtenfeld says. Misinformation that may make some women less likely to have regular mammograms.
BY DAVID SCHWARTZ
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