Take an active role in your breast health and cancer screening experience. Here are four things every woman should know:
Just like a fingerprint, every woman's breast tissue is unique. What may be a warning sign for one woman, could be a normal, harmless area of tissue for the next. Doctors rely on prior breast health records to determine what is "normal" for each patient or what may be an area that needs further examination.
Having your past medical records in your possession is the number one thing you can do to enable your doctor to provide the most thorough care possible. Sharing breast health records from one doctor's office to the next is not as simple as you might think. However, these records are critical. Access to prior records reduces false positive results by 40 to 60 percent, also reducing anxiety and the need for additional testing and appointments.
Go to appointments prepared. You have the power to give your doctor what they need, Mammosphere has tools to help.
You have a right to own your individual medical records. You also have a right to those records in the format of your choosing. This means that if you want your medical information sent to a mobile app, your doctor's office has to comply with that request.
The federal government has you covered. There are laws and regulations in place protecting and enabling patients to access and own their medical records, even in digital formats. Learn more about your rights as a patient.
While breast screenings become routine for most women around the age of 40, every woman is on a different journey. Family history, breast density, current or past breast cancer diagnosis all influence care.
Knowledge is power. Ask your doctor about different screening options (different ways to view your breast tissue), the most appropriate screening schedule based on your health, and the importance of understanding breast density.
What is breast density? And what does it mean for your breast health? These are important questions to discuss with your doctor. Dense breast tissue is common among women of all ages. However, it can impact the accuracy of a mammogram exam, which can also influence the ability to detect cancer. Are You Dense is an organization dedicated to the education of the public regarding the risks and screening challenges of dense breast tissue and its impact on missed, delayed, and advanced-stage breast cancer to reduce advanced disease and mortality. Learn more about Are You Dense, Inc.
The Athena Breast Health Network has partnered with Mammosphere to provide digital management of health records for the groundbreaking WISDOM Study. The goal of the WISDOM Study is to determine if breast cancer screening can be made better by personalizing each woman's mammogram schedule. The WISDOM Study is designed to end the confusion about when to start and how often to have a mammogram.
Learn more about the WISDOM study.
Participation is done completely online by signing up at wisdomstudy.org. There is no need to visit a participating center as the study can be completed at home. By joining the study, every woman will gain a better understanding of her personalized breast cancer risk, but also help us chart the way forward for breast cancer screening and prevention.