Mammogram is a test that produces an image of the breast tissue on film. The technique is referred to as mammography. Mammography can visualize normal and abnormal structures within the breast such as cysts, calcifications, and tumors looking for breast cancer. The first baseline mammogram for a woman should be between the ages of 35 to 40. Read more: Mammogram Article
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Understanding Cancer: Metastasis, Stages of Cancer, and More
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Breast Cancer Quiz: Symptoms & Signs
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Top 10 Cancers Quiz
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Picture of Breast Anatomy
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Signs of Cancer in Women: Symptoms You Can't Ignore
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Related Disease Conditions
Breast Lumps (in Women)
Breast lumps in women can have a variety of causes such as breast inflammation, infection, injuries, cancer, and non-cancerous growths. Breast lumps in women are diagnosed with physical exam, mammogram, ultrasound, MRI, and biopsy. Treatment of breast lumps in women depend on the cause.
Gynecomastia (Enlarged Male Breasts Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments)
Gynecomastia, an enlargement of the gland tissue in the male breast is caused by an imbalance of hormones. Certain medical conditions may also lead to gynecomastia such as cirrhosis, malnutrition, disorders of the male sex organs, kidney failure, thyroid disorders, and medications. Gynecomastia is generally treated with medication, and if necessary, surgery.
Cancer is a disease caused by an abnormal growth of cells, also called malignancy. It is a group of 100 different diseases, and is not contagious. Cancer can be treated through chemotherapy, a treatment of drugs that destroy cancer cells.
Fibrocystic Breast Condition (Changes)
Fibrocystic breast condition (sometimes called fibrocystic breast disease) is characterized by lumpiness and usually pain, tenderness, and discomfort in one or both breasts. The condition is very common and benign (not malignant). Fibrocystic breast condition is the most common cause of "lumpy breasts" in women. A common symptom of fibrocystic breast condition is breast pain or discomfort. Some women with fibrocystic breasts have mile breast tenderness or pain. Other women with the condition may have very painful and tender breasts with lumpy areas that can be felt. Fibrocystic breast condition is most common in women after age 30, which continues through perimenopause and menopause. Women with the condition often have fewer problems after menopause (postmenopause).Fibrocystic breast condition that involves hyperplasia is associated with a slightly increased risk of developing breast cancer. Atypical hyperplasia is associated with a moderately increased risk of developing breast cancer compared to women with fibrocystic without fibrocystic changes. Natural and home remedies to help relieve breast pain include NSAIDs like aspiring, Aleve, and Advil. Prescription medication also may help relieve symptoms of fibrocystic breasts.
Breast cancer is an invasive tumor that develops in the mammary gland. Breast cancer is detected via mammograms, breast self-examination (BSE), biopsy, and specialized testing on breast cancer tissue. Treatment of breast cancer may involve surgery, radiation, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy. Breast cancer risk may be lowered by managing controllable risk factors.
Symptoms of 12 Serious Diseases and Health Problems
Learn how to recognize early warning signs and symptoms of serious diseases and health problems, for example, chronic cough, headache, chest pain, nausea, stool color or consistency changes, heartburn, skin moles, anxiety, nightmares, suicidal thoughts, hallucinations, delusions, lightheadedness, night sweats, eye problems, confusion, depression, severe pelvic or abdominal pain, unusual vaginal discharge, and nipple changes. The symptoms and signs of serious health problems can be caused by strokes, heart attacks, cancers, reproductive problems in females (for example, cancers, fibroids, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, and sexually transmitted diseases or STDs), breast problems (for example, breast cancer and non-cancer related diseases), lung diseases (for example, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD, lung cancer, emphysema, and asthma), stomach or digestive diseases (for example, cancers, gallbladder, liver, and pancreatic diseases, ulcerative colitis, or Crohn's disease), bladder problems (for example, urinary incontinence, and kidney infections), skin cancer, muscle and joint problems, emotional problems or mental illness (for example, postpartum depression, major depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), mania, and schizophrenia), and headache disorders (for example, migraines, or "the worst headache of your life), and eating disorders and weight problems (for example, anorexia or bulimia).
The breast, or mammary gland is made up of lobules, milk producing glands, and a system of ducts to transport milk. Both males and females have breasts. Abnormal enlargement of breasts in men is referred to as gynecomastia. In women, during pregnancy the breasts grow larger and produce milk. Common medical conditions that affect the breasts include breast cancer, breast lumps, fibrocystic changes and cysts, mastitis, and benign tumors (fibroadenomas).
Women's health is an important topic area to guide a woman through the stages of her life, as well as knowing the conditions and diseases that may occur. Educating yourself so that the transitions into different phases of life is key to a healthy, happy, and productive life.
Inflammatory Breast Cancer
Inflammatory breast cancer is an accelerated form of breast cancer that is not usually detected by mammogram or ultrasound. Symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer include pain in the breast, skin change in the breast area, bruise on the breast,sudden swelling of the breast, nipple retraction or discharge, and swelling of the lymph nodes.
Breast Cancer Recurrence
Breast cancer most often recurs within the first three to five years after the initial treatment. Changes in the look, feel, or appearance of the breast may indicate breast cancer recurrence. Factors related to recurrence include tumor size, tumor grade, hormone receptor status, lymph node involvement, and oncogene expression. Treatment for recurrent breast cancer depends on the initial treatment.
Post-polio syndrome (PPS) is a group of signs and symptoms that show up two to four decades after the initial polio infection. Symptoms of PPS include fatigue, pain, sleep disorders, muscle twitching, gastrointestinal problems, and weakness. Treatment focuses on slowing down to conserve energy and relieving symptoms with pain relievers.
Paget Disease of the Breast (Paget's Disease of the Nipple)
Paget's disease is a rare form of cancer that forms in or around the nipple and frequently coexists with breast cancer. The exact cause of Paget's disease is unknown. Symptoms and signs include redness, scaling, and flaking of the nipple skin. A biopsy and imaging studies are needed to diagnose the disease. Treatment may include surgery, radiation, and adjuvant therapy.
Breast Cancer Prevention
Lifestyle changes, a healthy antioxidant-rich diet, exercise, and weight reduction can help reduce a woman's risk of developing breast cancer. It's important to be aware of how risk factors such as family history, lifestyle factors, breast conditions, radiation therapy, and hormonal factors may influence your chances of developing breast cancer. Mammography and breast self-examinations are crucial steps in breast cancer prevention.
Breast Cancer and Lymphedema
Lymphedema is a common chronic, debilitating condition in which excess fluid called lymph collects in tissues and causes swelling in them. It is common after a mastectomy, lumpectomy or breast cancer surgery and radiation therapy.
Breast Cancer in Young Women
About 5% of cases of breast cancer occur in women under the age of 40 years old. Some risk factors for breast cancer in young women include a personal history of breast cancer or breast disease, family history of breast cancer, prior radiation therapy, and the presence of BRCA1/BRCA2 gene mutations. Breast self-exams, clinical breast exams, and screening mammograms may help detect breast cancer. Treatment may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and hormone therapy.
Sexual health information including birth control, impotence, herpes, sexually transmitted diseases, staying healthy, women's sexual health concerns, and men's sexual health concerns. Learn about the most common sexual conditions affecting men and women.
Breast Cancer Clinical Trials
Breast cancer clinical trials are research programs designed to evaluate new medical treatments, drugs, or devices for the treatment of breast cancer. Clinical trials are designed to test the safety and efficacy of new treatments as well as assess potential side effects. Clinical trials also compare new treatment to existing treatments to determine if it's any better. There are many important questions to ask your doctor before taking part in a breast cancer clinical trial.
Disease Prevention in Women
Disease prevention in women includes screening tests that are a basic part of prevention medicine. All screening tests are commonly available through your general doctor. Some specialized tests may be available elsewhere.
Treatment of Breast Cancer by Stages
Treatment of breast cancer depends upon the stage of the cancer at the time of diagnosis. Some of the various treatments include: hormone therapy, radiation therapy, surgery, chemotherapy, HER2-targeted therapy, neoadjuvant therapy, and adjuvant therapy.
Breast Cancer During Pregnancy
Breast cancer occurs in about 1 in every 1,000 pregnant women. Treatment of breast cancer during pregnancy involves surgery, but it is very difficult to protect the baby from the dangerous effects of radiation and chemotherapy. It can be an agonizing to decide whether or not to undergo breast cancer treatment while one is pregnant.
Breast Cancer and Coping With Stress
Being diagnosed with breast cancer is stressful. Learning relaxation techniques, exercising, eating well, getting adequate sleep, receiving psychotherapy, and maintaining a positive attitude can help you cope. Creating documents, such as an advance directive, living will, and durable power of attorney will outline your wishes in the event that you are no longer able to make decisions regarding your care.
Estimating Breast Cancer Risk: Questions and Answers
As breast cancer is the most diagnosed non-skin cancer in American women, it is important to know your breast cancer risk. Risk factors include age, age at menarche, age at first live birth, history of breast abnormalities, breast biopsies, race, and history or breast cancer among first-degree relatives.
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Treatment & Diagnosis
- Breast Cancer FAQs
- Cancer FAQs
- Cancer Care in the Elderly
- Elizabeth Edwards has Breast Cancer Alert
- Advanced Breast Cancer in Young Women Increasing
- What Is a Scintimammography?
- Hospitals: Can Yours Handle Your Emergency?
- Breast Cancer Symptoms and Signs
- Annual Physical Exam
- Ask The Experts: Women's Health
Medications & Supplements
Prevention & Wellness
- At-Risk Men May Also Benefit From Regular Mammograms
- Can Older Women Stop Getting Mammograms?
- Could 3-D Mammograms Soon Be the Standard for Breast Cancer Screening?
- Making Sense of Mammography Guidelines
- Do Doctors Give Better Care in the Morning?
- Breast Surgeons' Group Issues New Mammogram Guidelines
- When Do Women Need a Mammogram? New Guideline Tries to Clarify
- FDA Says Breast Density Must Be Reported to Women During Mammograms
- Don't Be Fooled: Thermography No Substitute for Mammograms, FDA Says
- Mammograms Helped Save Up to 600,000 U.S. Lives Since 1989: Study
- For Some Women, Mammograms May Need to Begin at 30: Study
- Mammograms Do Save Lives: Study
- Mammograms Might Encourage Other Screenings
- Many Breast Cancer Survivors Not Getting Needed Mammograms
- Breast Cancer Prognosis May Be Worse If Diagnosis Follows 'Negative' Mammogram
- Earlier Mammograms May Mean Less Need for Aggressive Treatments
- As Mammograms Became Widespread, Breast Tumor Size Shrank
- Newer Breast MRI May Be More Accurate and Easier
- Women Still Want Annual Mammograms
- Heavier Women May Need Mammograms More Often
- Study Supports Annual Mammograms Starting at Age 40
- Mammogram Decision Hinges on Patient-Doc Talk, Ob-Gyn Group Says
- Asian Women Less Likely to Get Follow-up After Abnormal Mammogram
- Too Many Americans Still Go Without Cancer Screenings
- Could Breast Milk Tests Replace Mammograms?
- Mammogram Guidelines Have Changed, But Are Doctors Listening?
- Diagnostic Mammograms Find More Cancers, and More False-Positives
- Many Women Skip Mammograms After False-Positive Result
- Breast Density May Be Leading Indicator of Cancer Risk
- Obamacare Boosts Breast Cancer Screening, Study Finds
- Study Casts More Doubt on Value of Mammograms
- Never Too Old for a Mammogram?
- Survey: Doctor/Patient Disconnect on Cancer Prevention
- Another Study Questions Mammography Screening
- Depression Can Fuel Heart Disease in Midlife Women: Study
- Software Speeds Up Analysis of Breast Cancer Risk: Study
- Obamacare Tied to Rise in Mammograms
- Study: Trained Experts Can Spot Breast Cancer in 'Blink of an Eye'
- Sugary, High-Fat Western Diet Tied to Denser Breast Tissue
- Wide Variation Seen in 'Dense' Breast Diagnoses
- Early Stage Breast Cancer Does Need Treatment, Study Finds
- About Half of Women May Benefit From Mammograms at 40: Analysis
- Mammograms May Also Help Spot Heart Disease, Study Suggests
- Mammograms a Personal Decision for Women in Their 40s, Panel Says
- Regular Mammograms Worthwhile for Elderly Women
- Breast Ultrasound, Mammography May Be Equally Effective: Study
- New Rules for Mammograms, Tanning Beds Top Health News of 2015
- False-Positive Mammogram May Hint at Breast Cancer Risk Later
- Is Breast Density an Overrated Cancer Risk Factor?
- Breast Cancer Equally Common Now Among Blacks, Whites
- Number of Mammograms Handled May Affect Breast Cancer Detection Rates
- New Mammogram Guidelines Already Creating Controversy
- Women Should Get Annual Mammograms Starting at Age 45: Cancer Society
- Computer-Aided Mammograms May Not Be Worth the Cost: Study
- False-Positive Mammogram Result Traumatic for Most Women: Study
- Early Stage Breast Cancer Far From a Death Sentence: Study
- Radiation From Mammograms May Be Lower Than Thought
- Regular Mamograms Might Lead to 'Overdiagnosis' of Breast Cancer
- International Panel Finds Only 'Limited' Evidence for Mammograms in 40s
- Many Americans Not Getting Routine Cancer Screenings: CDC
- Black Women More Likely to Have Dense Breast Tissue, Study Shows
- Mammograms a Personal Decision for Women in Their 40s, Panel Says
- Mammogram Rates May Fall When Women Learn of 'Overdiagnosis' Risk
- Common Breast Biopsy Finding May Be More Dangerous Than Thought
- Are Routine Ultrasounds for Women With Dense Breasts Worthwhile?
- Mammograms for 40-Somethings Supported by New Study
- New Device May Make Mammograms More Comfortable
- 'Purpose in Life' a Boon to Your Health
- Gene May Help Shield Hispanic Women From Breast Cancer, Study Says
- E-Doctors: Virtual Visits Give Patients Options
- The Future of Cancer Detection
- Doctors, Patients Embrace Technology in Medicine
- Risks of Breast Cancer Screening in Women Over 70
- Bras Blameless for Breast Cancer Risk: Study
- Personal Reminders Seem to Boost Mammography Rates
- Women Over 75 May Benefit From Mammograms
- Do You Still Need an Annual Doctor's Visit?
- Mammography Costs Soar for Seniors, But Detection Rates the Same: Study
- 3D Mammograms May Improve Breast Cancer Screening
- Mammography Cuts Breast Cancer Deaths by 28 Percent: Study
- MRIs Plus Mammograms Best for High-Risk Women, Study Finds
- False-Positive Mammograms Don't Deter Women From Future Screening: Study
- New Review Suggests Benefits of Annual Mammograms Are Overstated
- Routine Mammograms Found Not Helpful for Most Women Over 70
- Annual Mammograms Don't Reduce Breast Cancer Deaths, Study Contends
- Doctors May Need to Revise How They Evaluate Breast Biopsy Results
- FDA Warns Against Nipple Test for Breast Cancer Screening
- New Look at Past Studies Highlights Importance of Mammograms
- Frequent Mammograms Tied to Lower Risk of Breast Cancer Spread
- Use of Breast MRIs Way Up, Studies Find
- Breast Cancer Diagnosed at Later Stage in Rural Patients: Study
- More Black Women in U.S. Diagnosed With Breast Cancer, Report Finds
- Women Vets May Need More Access to Breast Cancer Services
- Most Breast Cancer Deaths Occur in Younger, Unscreened Women: Study
- MRI May Not Improve Outcomes for Early Form of Breast Cancer
- Can Some Women Safely Skip Breast Surgery?
- Mammogram Recalls Higher at Hospitals Than Private Practices: Study
- Mammography Doesn't Reduce Breast Cancer Death Rates: U.K. Study
- Angelina Jolie's Double Mastectomy: Q&A
- Longer Wait for Mammogram After Benign Breast Biopsy May Be Warranted
- Implants May Delay Breast Cancer Detection, Raise Death Risk
- Mammo Rates Unchanged Despite Controversial Guidelines
- Are Pricey Computer-Aided Mammograms Worth It?
- For Older Women, Missed Mammograms Tied to Worse Breast Cancer Outcomes
- Mammograms Every Other Year OK for Women Over 50: Study
- False-Positive Mammograms Can Trigger Long-Term Distress
- More Younger Women Diagnosed With Advanced Breast Cancer: Study
- Healthy Older Women Advised Against Taking Calcium
- For Older Women, Mammograms Every 2 Years Found as Good as Annual Test
- Which Cancer Tests Do You Really Need?
- Brief Life Expectancy Should Rule Out Certain Cancer Screenings: Study
- Costly Breast Cancer Screenings May Not Help Seniors: Study
- Women With Dense Breasts Open to Additional Cancer Screening: Study
- Study: Chest CT Scans May Increase Breast Cancer Risk
- More Cancers May Be Missed Under Latest Mammogram Guidelines
- Adding 3-D Mammograms May Improve Accuracy
- Boomers Zero In on Health at Age 50 and 65, Study Says
- Black Women More Likely to Die From Breast Cancer: Report
- Study: Digital Beats Film Mammography at Spotting Breast Cancer
- First Ultrasound to Spot Cancer in Dense Breasts Approved
- X-Rays May Up Breast Cancer Risk for Women With Certain Genes: Study
- Dense Breasts Not Linked to Cancer Deaths
- Breast Cancer Charity Overstates Value of Mammograms: Researchers
- Medical Group Notes Key Elements of Well-Woman Exams
- Mammograms Have 'Limited or No Effect' on Breast Cancer Deaths: Study
- No Dip in Cancer Screening for Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients
- Fewer Women in 40s Getting Mammograms
- U.S. Mammography Rates Drop Following Task Force Recommendations
- After Chest Radiation, Girls at Greater Risk for Early Breast Cancer: Study
- Americans Living Longer but Obesity Rising
- Mammograms Beat Thermography for Breast Cancer Detection: Study
- Health Highlights: May 2, 2012
- Studies Point to Reasons for Mammograms in 40s
- Health Highlights: April 20, 2012
- Health Highlights: April 19, 2012
- Healthy Lifestyle Choices Could Cut Cancer Rates: Report
- Do False-Positive Mammograms Predict Cancer Risk?
- Ultrasound, MRI Might Spot Cancer in Dense Breast Tissue
- Mammograms Spot Cancers That May Not Be Dangerous
- Dense Breasts May Be Linked to Cancer Recurrence
- Two Studies Find Routine Mammography Saves Lives
- New Mammogram Benefits for Women in Their 40s
- 1 in 4 Partial Mastectomy Patients Have Second Surgery
- Too Few Americans Getting Screened for Common Cancers: CDC
- CDC: Cancer Screening Below Target Rates
- Breast Cancer Patients Face More Imaging Tests Today
- Making Sense of Cancer Screening Updates
- Are Too Many Older People Screened for Cancer?
- Carriers of Breast Cancer Gene at Risk of Second Cancer
- British Study Suggests Mammograms May Do More Harm Than Good
- Mammograms May Halve Breast Cancer Deaths
- Does Fertility Treatment Raise Breast Cancer Risk?
- Breast Cancer Death Rates Decline
- PSA Test May Help Check for Breast Cancer
- Researchers Question Mammogram Guidelines
- U.S. Breast Cancer Rates No Longer Declining
- False-Positive Mammograms Linked to Breast Cancer
- Half of Insured Women Skip Annual Mammograms
- Mammograms Less Effective Than Believed
- CDC: More Cancer Screenings Needed to Save Lives
- New Debate on Breast Removal to Prevent Cancer