Personal Health

What To Expect During Your First Mammogram

A mammogram is a procedure that screens for signs of breast cancer or pre-cancerous indications. A yearly mammogram is recommended, especially for women over the age of 40 or those who have a family history of breast cancer. It’s helpful to know what to expect when you make an appointment with radiology in Toms River NJ.

What To Wear

You will have to be undressed from the waist up for your mammogram. You may be more comfortable, therefore, if you wear a skirt or pants instead of a dress to the appointment to limit your exposure. Avoid wearing deodorant as it can show up on the results.

How Long It Takes

A technician will be in the room with you. He or she will place each breast on the plate of the machine. An upper plate will flatten the breast for a few seconds while images are being taken. The whole procedure should not take more than twenty minutes.

How It Feels

You should expect to feel some discomfort when pressure is applied to flatten your breast. Women who have sensitive breasts may actually experience pain. Because of this, you should avoid making an appointment the week before your period starts, as your breasts may be more sensitive during this time. If the pain is too unbearable, let the technician know. 

What Results Mean

When you receive the results of your mammogram, the report will list your BI-RADS category. A category of 1 indicates a negative result, meaning you’re in the clear and no further test is needed until the following year. If the results are inconclusive or if something concerning shows up on the screening, you may have to have further tests to get a clear diagnosis.

While no one looks forward to her yearly mammogram, it is an important part of a woman’s yearly checkup. It is an essential part of staying on top of your health.

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What To Expect During Your First Mammogram

by Ervin Lázár
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