April 3, 2000 (Chantilly, Va.) -- If ever there were a case for strength in
numbers, mammography may be it, say breast cancer experts.
Women seeking mammograms can find the highest quality screenings from
radiologists and doctors who have years of experience performing and reading
mammograms on a daily basis. Also, those organizations that meet high
professional standards of safety and quality should display a Food and Drug
For many women, the diagnosis of breast cancer represents not only a major
physical battle, but also the ultimate emotional challenge -- one that affects
every relationship in our life.
Indeed, from friendships to romance, from being a parent to being a
daughter, the way you relate to everyone -- and the way they relate to you --
can be affected.
"I do think cancer has more impact on emotions and emotional
relationships than other catastrophic diseases, because with cancer, death is
"I think it is important that women know that they are at a certified
mammogram center, so they know that the machines are evaluated on an annual
basis,'' says Barbara Brenner, Executive Director of Breast Cancer Action, a
San Francisco-based advocacy group.
"And we always tell women under 50 that when they decide to have their
first mammogram, they should schedule time right after the screening to sit
down and ask questions. They should go to a place that will show them the
pictures and answer questions about what can and cannot be seen.''
According to the American Cancer Society, women should go to the same
facility every year, if possible, so that new and old mammograms can be
compared. The society also recommends that women take copies of their
mammograms with them if they move, so that doctors at their new facility can do
Michael D. Towle writes regularly for WebMD on health and