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
WebMD senior writer Miranda Hitti interviewed breast cancer survivors as
part of a series for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The series, called “Me
& the Girls,” explores the personal stories of these women after they were
diagnosed with breast cancer.
Breast cancer survivor Ilene Smith, MS, RD, 49, lives in the New York area.
In late October 2007, Smith felt a lump in her left breast while on a
conference call for work. "I got cold, and so I put my hand under my arm, and I
"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