ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - October is breast cancer awareness month, which means you'll see a sea of pink, participate in the walks, but it also means getting screened.
Mammography Technologist, Jenny Tibbetts giving Ariane her first mammogram.
In this week's 2 Your Health, I, Ariane Aramburo, took viewers through the process of what it was like getting my very first mammogram.
Dressed in a robe and scrubs, Imaging Associates Mammography Technologist, Jenny Tibbetts greeted me behind a curtain.
Tibbetts asked a series of health related questions before starting the screening, which takes four images and two different views of the breasts.
Afterward, Tibbetts directed me to see Dr. Heather Tauschek, Director of Women's Imaging for a reading of those results. We sat in a dark room as Tauschek looked over images and explained the complexity of breast imaging.
"The things that we're looking for are calcification which can show up like little speckles of sand, we're looking for masses and we're also looking for areas of distortion," said Tauschek.
She explained sometimes things can be masked because of breast density and things can hide, so when looking at 3D imaging, it allows for a clearer view to see things that might not otherwise show up on 2D images.
"The problem is that in extremely dense tissues, sometimes we can miss cancers, so that's why we always look at the density and it kind of tells you how good a mammogram looks in that particular patient. I really want people to understand what the subtleties of the two and not just get the mammogram because there is much more to it," she said.
It's also important to note, the standard recommendation for starting annual mammogram screenings is 40. Anything prior to that is for women who have a strong family history of breast cancer.