A mammogram is a simple test that every woman should have. It is used for detecting breast cancer early, and early detection is the key to beating the disease. According to the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a mammogram is a screening process that searches for a disease before it shows any outward symptoms. A mammogram is accomplished by compressing the breast and taking low dosage x-rays of the tissues to detect any tumors or cancers. Since these x-rays are very low dose, they do not present any danger of from radiation exposure.
Now that you know what a mammogram is, what should you do in preparing for the screening? The first step in preparing for a mammogram is a visit with your doctor. A mammogram is part of your whole health regimen, and that starts with routine and consistent medical care with your primary care physician or gynecologist. With a consult from your physician, schedule your mammogram at a convenient, yet state-of-the-art imaging facility.
The following tips can make the screening a little easier and provide for optimal results.
- In scheduling, keep in mind when your breasts are the least tender. According to the Mayo Clinic, the week after your period, for those women who have not gone through menopause, is usually the time when the breasts are the least tender; the week before your period, they are the most tender.
- Avoid using any kind of deodorant, lotions, perfumes or creams on the underarm or on the breast prior to the test. These products can leave a residue that can conflict with the x-ray and result in a false reading.
- Bring any previous mammograms with you for the technicians and doctors to review, so a comparison can be made over time.
- Be sure to talk to your doctor and the technician about any concerns you may have or changes you have noticed.
Woman's Hospital has been dedicated to the health of women in Central Mississippi for more than 35 years. Woman's is a full-service hospital and has a state-of-the-art imaging center, with the latest in mammogram technology and a team dedicated to breast health. In addition, Woman's offers the mammopad, which assures a more comfortable experience.
Woman's has been named a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology. When talking with your physician, be sure to consider the facilities at Woman's. If you need a physician referral, please feel free to contact us; it would be our pleasure to serve you.
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