Myth vs Fact

#1 MYTH

I don’t have symptoms of breast cancer or a family history so I don’t need a mammogram.

#1 FACT

Annual screening mammograms are recommended for ALL women over the age of 40 regardless symptoms or family history. Early detection is critical. Early stage breast cancers have a 5 year survival rate of 99%. Later stages have survival rates of 24%.

#2 MYTH

A mammogram will expose me to unsafe levels of radiation

#2 FACT

The radiation dose of a mammogram is small and is within medical guidelines.

#3 MYTH

A screening mammogram is guaranteed to find any breast type of breast cancer in my breast.

#3 FACT

Annual mammograms are extremely important for women, but there are some limitations. This is mostly due to dense breast tissue which may ‘hide’ or mimic a cancer. Other imaging methods can be used for women with dense breast tissue such as 3D mammography, breast ultrasound or breast MRI.

#4 MYTH

I had a normal mammogram last year so I don’t need another this year.

#4 FACT

Mammography is detection and NOT prevention. Having a normal mammogram does not guarantee future normal ones. Clinical trials have shown a 33% decrease in death from breast cancer in women over 40 who had regular screening mammograms.

#5 MYTH

My doctor didn’t refer me for a mammogram, I cannot schedule one.

#5 FACT

Women over 40 can self-refer for a mammogram. You can call a centre that offers this service and make a booking without a referral letter from a doctor.

#6 MYTH

A mammogram is contraindicated in women below 40.

#6 FACT

Symptomatic women below 40 can have an ultrasound of the breasts with or without a mammogram.