Five Things You Should Do Before Your Next Mammogram
Mar 22, 2022
For women aged 40 and older, an annual screening mammogram is the most important step for monitoring breast health. Screening mammography is vital because early detection of breast cancer allows for more effective treatment, giving patients the highest chance of remission.
Whether it’s your first time or you are a mammogram veteran, these tips will help you prepare for your exam.
FIND AN ACR ACCREDITED FACILITY FOR YOUR MAMMOGRAM.
The first step in preparing for your breast imaging test is choosing a center that is ACR accredited for breast imaging. This gold stamp of approval ensures that you are visiting a center that is held to the highest standards for radiology care. For such an important test, going to a center that you can trust ensures you get the best breast imaging care. If you’re looking for an ACR accredited location in the Twin Cities area, be sure to schedule an appointment in our Burnsville clinic or at the Breast Center in Coon Rapids.
SCHEDULE YOUR APPOINTMENT WHEN YOUR BREASTS ARE LEAST LIKELY TO BE TENDER.
Mammograms have the reputation of being slightly uncomfortable. Since mammography utilizes x-rays, the breasts are compressed between two plates to ensure that a clear image is captured. By scheduling your appointment during a time when your breasts are the least sensitive, you can ensure your experience will be more comfortable. From a sensitivity perspective, scheduling your appointment a week after your period is generally the best time.
AVOID WEARING DEODORANT BEFORE YOUR MAMMOGRAM.
Since deodorant and lotions can interfere with imaging results, it’s best to go without talcum powder, deodorant, lotion or perfume on the day of your exam. The aluminum found in these products can create false positives, which requires additional and often unnecessary scanning.
DO WEAR A TWO-PIECE OUTFIT, DON’T WEAR JEWELRY.
Wearing a two-piece outfit can make it easier to take off your top and bra before your mammogram while leaving the rest of your body covered, and as much as you may love that large necklace and earring set that you’ve got, be prepared to remove any jewelry before your breast exam to ensure your results are accurate.
COME PREPARED BY BRINGING ALL NECESSARY PAPERWORK.
Before arriving at your mammogram appointment, be sure to complete any necessary paperwork required by the center. If it’s your first time at a particular center, providing images of your previous mammograms can give the radiologist a point of reference. If you are experiencing any concerning symptoms, compile a list of your concerns so your doctor can keep these in mind.
If you are having a tomo (3D) mammogram, check with your insurance provider prior to the appointment to ensure that 3D mammography is covered. If it is not covered by your insurance, you can pay out-of-pocket to cover the difference. You can request an estimate prior to your appointment for more information.
Suburban Imaging stresses the importance of breast screenings and mammography, and the best way to spread breast cancer awareness is by undergoing your annual mammogram. Be proactive about your breast health, and keep these tips in mind when you schedule a mammogram.