What to Expect During a Mammogram
Mammograms are an essential tool in breast cancer screening and early detection. If you’re scheduled for your first mammogram or wondering what to expect during this procedure, you’re not alone. In this article, we’ll walk you through the process of a mammogram, helping you understand what happens before, during, and after the examination.
On the day of your mammogram, it’s best to wear a two-piece outfit, as you will need to undress from the waist up. Avoid using deodorants, antiperspirants, lotions, or powders on your chest or underarms, as these substances can interfere with the imaging.
Arrival at the Facility
When you arrive at the mammography centre, you will typically be asked to complete some paperwork related to your medical history and any previous breast issues or surgeries. Inform the technologist if you are pregnant or might be pregnant, as special precautions may be needed.
The Exam Room
You’ll be taken to a private exam room where you’ll have the opportunity to ask any questions or express concerns. The technologist will explain the procedure and answer any questions you may have.
During the Mammogram
The technologist, usually a female, will ask you to undress from the waist up and provide you with a gown to wear. You will stand in front of the mammography machine.
Your breast will be placed on a special platform and gently compressed by a second platform to spread the breast tissue evenly. Two images will be taken of each breast – one from top to bottom and one from side to side. Compression is necessary to obtain clear images and may cause some discomfort, but it’s typically brief. You will be asked to hold your breath for a few seconds during each image to minimise motion blur.
After the Mammogram
Once the images are captured, you will be allowed to get dressed. In most cases, you’ll be able to resume your regular activities immediately.
Results and Follow-up
The mammogram images will be reviewed by a radiologist, who will look for any abnormalities. You will receive the results within a week or two. If any concerns are found, your healthcare provider will discuss further tests or procedures.
Mammograms are a crucial tool in the early detection of breast cancer, a disease that affects millions of women worldwide. Knowing what to expect during a mammogram can help alleviate anxiety and ensure that you receive this vital screening regularly. Remember that early detection can significantly improve the chances of successful treatment, so don’t hesitate to schedule your mammogram as recommended by your healthcare provider. Your breast health is worth it.
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