A woman’s breasts will undergo many changes throughout her life. While most of these shifts in size or shape are a normal, healthy aspect of life, it’s essential to understand when these changes become abnormal and require medical attention.
The Women’s Health Group is a premier provider of women’s health care. Our board-certified breast radiologists and breast health specialists are more than happy to answer any questions or work with you to personalize a treatment plan.
What Is a Mammogram?
A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast to test for early signs of cancer. Mammogram screening will begin once you reach the age of 40 and will take place annually or biannually until your turn 65. After 65, you can choose to have a mammogram every two years or continue yearly screening.
During your screening, you will stand in front of an X-ray machine. A technologist will place your breath on a plate while another plate from above presses down firmly. These plates flatten your breast and keep it still while the machine takes an X-ray.
Normal Breast Changes
Your breasts are subject to change at any age. If you gain or lose weight, you may notice a difference in the size of your breasts. Some life stages can also cause a change in your breast size, including:
- Puberty: During puberty, you may experience swelling, tenderness or a lumpy feeling before or after menstruation.
- Pregnancy: Similar to puberty, your breasts may feel tender and become larger when you are pregnant.
- Menopause: As you experience menopause, your breasts may become softer and begin to sag or wrinkle.
When to See a Doctor
The symptoms of breast cancer are different for every woman. If you notice an abnormality, see your doctor as soon as possible. Some possible signs of breast cancer include:
- A lump in your breast.
- Swelling of the lymph nodes.
- Pain in your breasts.
- Your breasts feel heavy.
- The skin of your breasts swell, thicken or become red.
- Changes in your nipple.
- Nipple discharge or nipple discharge with blood in it.
- Peeling, scaling or flaking on your breasts.
- Your nipple turns inward.
Learn More About Our Breast Health Options at The Women’s Health Clinic
If you have any questions or want to learn more about self-breast exams, our compassionate staff at The Women’s Health Clinic is more than happy to assist you. We offer mammograms and many other services in Denver.