What is a Mammography exam?
Mammography is a low-dose x-ray technique that is used to create an image of the breasts on an x-ray film.
Reasons for Mammography include:
- Routine screening exam for women as early as age 35, even if they are healthy and have no symptoms;
- For any woman who has signs or symptoms of breast cancer.
How do I prepare for Mammogram?
The day of your exam, do not use deodorant, talcum powder, or any ointment or cream on your breasts or underarms. They leave a coating that may be picked up by the x-rays, thereby distorting the mammogram.
What can I expect the day of my Mammogram?
You will be asked to undress above the waist and wear a patient gown. A few brief questions concerning your medical history and risk factors for breast cancer will be asked, and a specially trained technologist may examine your breast.
The mammography exam is performed with dedicated equipment. This technique enables the radiologist to view the thickness of the breast tissue on the x-ray film.
The Radiologic technologist will position you at the x-ray machine. Depending on the view to be taken, you will sit, stand or lie in a certain position. Your breast will then be positioned between two pieces of plastic, and firm pressure will be applied. This flattens the breast so a uniform thickness can be seen.
The exam may be a bit uncomfortable, but any discomfort is usually slight. The breast will be x-rayed from above and from the side. Both breasts are x-rayed separately to compare the images.
What will happen following my Mammogram?
No restrictions are required.
How long will the Mammogram take?
The mammogram takes less than one hour.
How do I find out the results of my Mammograms?
Your mammogram will be reviewed by a radiologist and will send a written report of the results to your physician, who will discuss the findings with you.
When to have your mammogram?
- An initial baseline mammogram for all women ages 35-39.
- Annual or bi-annual mammogram between ages 40-49.
- Annual mammogram from ages 50 onwards.
Any woman who is pregnant or suspects she may be pregnant should let her physician know before scheduling this exam.