What is National Mammography Day?
This year National Mammography Day lands on October 16. Occurring every third Friday of October, National Mammography Day is a cousin to Breast Cancer Awareness Month. They’re both committed to women’s self care but this day is set aside specifically to encourage women to take the time to make an appointment. Early detection means early treatment and the difference between life and death.
National Mammography Day Related Holidays
National No Bra Day
Celebrated annually on October 13, National No Bra Day is more than just a day to get comfortable. The day’s actual purpose is to raise awareness about breast health and encourage people to self examine their breast tissue for lumps. So lose the bra, get cozy, and cop a self-feel! It’s for your health!
Observed every year on February 4, World Cancer Day raises awareness about early detection, prevention, and treatment. Even if you yourself don’t have cancer, the disease has probably impacted you in some type of way. Take the day to work on bettering your health and reach out to organizations that might need your help.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Every two minutes, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer. And though only 1% of men get diagnosed with the affliction, it’s important that they too are educated on the disease. Breast cancer doesn’t discriminate, so make sure to self check your breast tissue regularly, regardless of your gender.
History of National Mammography Day
A mammography is a technique using low-energy x-rays to detect calcification, which is a sign of the beginning stages of breast cancer. In the late 1950s, Robert Egan developed an innovative method to screen mammograms for the first time. In 1959 he published his results and later released a book called “Mammography” in the early 1960s. His contribution began to be known as “The Egan Technique” and allowed doctors to detect hardening masses within the breast’s tissue.
When getting a mammogram, the breast is compressed via a mammography unit. This compression evens out the thickness of the breast tissue to decrease the amount of scattered radiation and prevent blurring from motion. Women are discouraged from wearing deodorant, lotion, or talcum powder during these screenings as they may show up on the x-ray as calcium spots. The procedure is said to be painful, or highly uncomfortable, which is the main reason many women might not return or schedule continuing exams.
There are currently over 3.1 million survivors in the United States alone, living due to early detection technologies like mammograms. It is recommended that women aged 40 and up schedule their mammography appointments biennially. However, if women are at higher risk for breast cancer, they are encouraged to schedule their appointments annually instead. Factors that may increase the risk of breast cancer include: heavy smoking, excessive drinking, or a family history of breast cancer. There are also ways women can decrease their chances of being afflicted with breast cancer, such as: moderating alcohol intake, avoiding cigarettes, exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthy diet.