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This October, encourage a friend to join you in getting a mammogram

mammogram

It’s not the typical brunch or shopping date that you would normally take with a close girlfriend, but it is an activity that can be vital to your everyday life.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month — a perfect time to get an annual checkup on your breast health. Mammograms are designed to detect breast cancer at its earliest stage and when it is the easiest to treat. As women age and their bodies change, the risk for being diagnosed with breast cancer increases, therefore, mammograms are not something to delay.

According to the American Cancer Society, women between the ages of 40 and 44 have the option to start screening for breast cancer with a mammogram annually.

From ages 45 to 54, women should get mammograms every year.

After age 55, women can still receive annual mammograms, or opt to be checked every other year.

Delaying getting a mammogram? While the procedure may seem a little daunting for some, having a friend present for moral support will help to ease any anxiety or fear.

If someone you know has yet to have their first mammogram and they’re over the age of 40, show them that you care about their well-being and encourage them to take charge of their breast health.

Here are a few ways you can make this a less nerve-wracking experience for you both:

Make an appointment on the same date and time at the same facility. Take a look at Inova’s ACR-accredited imaging services to find the mammography location nearest both of you.

Talk to your doctor about the different 2D and 3D screening techniques. Mammograms are available in both 2D and 3D. The standard 2D mammogram takes two images of the breast and develops a two-dimensional photo. The 3D mammogram takes multiple pictures from different angles to create a three-dimensional photo. Learn more about which one may be right for you. Be sure to check with your insurance company to see if both screening options are covered.

Hold one another accountable. Make dates to exercise regularly, eat healthy meals and keep alcohol consumption at a moderate level to ensure that you’re both taking good care of your bodies.

Finally, encourage others! Praise each other on taking care of your health and consider asking other friends to join.  


Learn more about Inova’s approach to breast cancer.

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