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AHN doctor: Mammograms the ‘gold standard’ of breast screening

In this Thursday, May 6, 2010 file photo, a radiologist uses a magnifying glass to check mammograms for breast cancer in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

While breast cancer can be life-altering, dangerous, and deadly, routine mammogram screenings can help catch cancer early and detect issues before symptoms emerge.

Allegheny Health Network breast surgery director Dr. Suzanne Coopey emphasized that breast imaging is essential to keep an eye on potential problems that could be cancerous.

“Women have the option to start screening mammograms at the age of 40, and the option to do them annually,” Coopey said. “We know that screening mammograms regularly, like every year, has a potential to reduce the mortality for breast cancer, so we tend to catch things much earlier if people are doing regular screenings.”

A mammogram, which is an x-ray of the breast with the breast in compression, can find small masses, calcified areas, or areas of distortion, Coopey said.

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