It seems strange to say celebrate Mammography Day, but maybe we should. Breast Cancer Awareness Month is not just about remembering those who have passed as a result of breast cancer and honoring survivors, but celebrating the strides that have been made in detection and treatment.

Any person working in the medical field will agree that medicine is an inexact science at best. Sometimes cutting open a person was the only way to find out what was going on inside them. Not the safest process.

Once X-rays were discovered, the medical community was able to utilize them in diagnosing pneumonia, fractures, dental problems, and tumors. As the X-ray technology advanced, so did the ability to detect cancer at earlier stages.

What is Mammography and How Has It Advanced?

A photograph is an image taken by a camera. Photography is the process. A mammogram is an image of breast tissue taken by x-ray. Mammography is the technique used to take a mammogram. Photograph-photography, mammogram-mammography, get it?

The idea of mammography to help diagnose breast cancer began with a German surgeon discovering that X-rays showed cancerous tumors of mastectomies. In 1949, Raul Leborgne introduced the compression technique to X-ray breast tissue, and mammograms began. By 1969, there were mammography units available around the world. In 2000, digital mammography was approved by the FDA and in 2011, 3D breast imaging was approved.

How to Celebrate Mammography Day

You don’t have to get a mammogram on Mammography Day, but you can use the day as a reminder to talk with your primary care provider about when it is the right time for you to get a mammogram. Mammograms may be more appropriate when you are younger if there is a family history or other factors. You may be comfortable waiting until later. The important thing is to discuss it.

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Mammograms are covered by most insurance companies. Anyone who does not have insurance, or cannot pay for one has options. St. Luke’s and South Central Public Health District have an availability to help anyone who may need financial assistance.

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