BUFFALO, N.Y. (WGRZ) -- October is breast cancer awareness month. The disease is still the most common cancer among American women.
There is good news and bad news when we look at the statistics regarding breast cancer. That's because mammography is so good at catching breast cancer in its early stages when much can be done to not only treat it, but also cure the disease.
A mammogram is a virtually painless x-ray of the breast, and every women should get them every year starting at least at age 40. Doctors stress getting a mammogram only once in a while is not good enough.
"This really is the only test that has been shown in very good, large trials, to decrease the risk of dying from breast cancer. It is the only test that has that evidence behind it," says Ermelinda Bonaccio, a radiologist at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.
Dr. Shicha Kumar, an oncologist at Roswell adds, "Part of the thing about looking at mammograms is not so much how they look as a single shot, but how they look over time as well. And some things that might not look worrisome if they start to increase or change over time, they might become something that might need a biopsy."
The bottom line is, yearly mammograms are important so doctors can spot any changes in your breast.