When it comes to breast health, regular mammograms play a crucial role in detecting early signs of breast cancer. If you’re due for a mammogram, it’s important to prepare for the procedure to ensure a smooth and effective experience. If you are asking what to do for a mammogram, here are some helpful tips:
Know when to go for your mammogram:
The American College of Physicians provides guidelines based on age and risk factors. If you’re between the ages of 40 and 49, mammograms may not be recommended unless advised by your doctor based on your health history or findings from a well-woman exam. Women aged 50 to 74 should have a mammogram every two years, while those aged 75 and above typically don’t require regular screenings.
Choose a certified center:
Opt for a mammography center that specializes in breast imaging. These certified and accredited facilities utilize high-quality imaging and diagnostic equipment, reducing the chances of false positive results. Selecting a reputable center ensures accurate and reliable mammogram readings.
Plan for a time when your breasts aren’t tender:
Mammograms can briefly cause discomfort as your breasts are compressed between X-ray plates. To minimize potential discomfort, schedule your exam when your breasts aren’t tender, typically avoiding the time near your menstrual cycle.
Don’t use deodorant on the day of the test:
To ensure accurate results, refrain from using lotions, powders, perfumes, body sprays, and deodorant on the day of your mammogram. These substances can interfere with imaging and lead to unnecessary follow-up tests.
On the day of your mammogram, wearing a two-piece outfit is recommended. You’ll need to remove your top garment and bra, but you can keep your skirt or pants on. Opt for separates instead of one-piece outfits, dresses, or jumpers. Additionally, remove any jewelry that falls near the imaging area as instructed by the technician.
Fill out paperwork online for your mammogram appointment:
To save time and streamline your appointment, take advantage of online options to complete medical history forms and other necessary paperwork beforehand. Many offices now offer this convenience, particularly in light of COVID-19 precautions. Arriving with completed paperwork allows you to relax with a book or magazine before your mammogram.
Prep for a mammogram can seem intimidating. However, following these simple steps, you can ensure a smoother and more comfortable mammogram experience. If you have any further questions or need additional information, don’t hesitate to call our office. Remember, regular mammograms are a vital part of maintaining breast health and detecting potential issues early.