How to Prepare for a Mammogram & Breast Screening
How to Prepare for Your Mammogram
You will be most comfortable and at ease if you wear easy to remove clothing to your exam. You will be provided with a safe space to store your belongings, but we recommend eliminating jewelry or other personal belongings. Do not wear deodorant or antiperspirant on the day of your mammogram because they may interfere with the mammographic images.
What to Tell Your Technologist
Our technologists are there for you. They’ll make you as comfortable as possible, and they will listen. Do feel comfortable to ask questions or share new information since your last screening. Discuss any breast changes or problem, mention any medical history that could affect your breast cancer risk—such as surgery, hormone use, breast cancer in your family, or if you’ve had breast cancer before. Before getting any type of imaging test, tell the technologist if you’re breastfeeding or if you think you might be pregnant.
What to Expect When Getting a Screening Mammogram
The entire experience is private, it’s just you and the technologist, and should take no more than 20 minutes. There may be some discomfort when your breasts are compressed, but this will last only a few seconds each time. For some, there can be pain. Tell the technologist if it hurts.
You’ll be asked to remove clothing from above the waist and will be given a wrap to wear. The technologist will position your breasts for the mammogram. To get a high-quality picture, your breast must be flattened. The technologist places your breast on the machine’s plate. The plastic upper plate is lowered to compress your breast for a few seconds while the technologist takes a picture. You will then need to change position before the next picture is taken.
Two views of each breast are taken for a screening mammogram. But for some women, such as those with breast implants or large breasts, more pictures may be needed.
What to Expect When Getting a Diagnostic Mammogram
Diagnostic mammograms are used if a change is seen on a screening mammogram or after some signs of breast cancer alert the physician to check the tissue. Such signs may include a lump or breast pain.
More pictures are taken during a diagnostic mammogram with a focus on the area that looked different on the screening mammogram. During a diagnostic mammogram, the images are checked by the radiologist while you are in the office so more pictures can be taken if needed.
How Will I Get My Mammogram Results?
Our mammography facilities are certified in compliance with the Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA) and by the American College of Radiology (ACR) and by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Both you and your doctor will receive a letter after a mammogram discussing the results. Results will also be available on MyLifespan.