diagnostic imagingA mammogram is a crucial step any woman should take as a way to promote well-being. For women over the age of 40, a mammogram is incredibly helpful for finding tumors and other potentially dangerous masses that can lead to cancer. With diagnostic imaging, a radiologist will give you a comprehensive breast exam once a year that could save your life. Here is everything you need to know about mammograms.

What exactly is a mammogram?
Simply put, a mammogram is an x-ray of your breast tissue that is used to find changes and discrepancies such as a lump or fatty tissue. Some 3D mammograms are even able to view your breast tissue from all angles, which will go far in helping your doctor diagnose and recommend treatment.

Where can I get a mammogram?
You are able to get a mammogram at any diagnostic imaging center– ask your doctor for recommendations.

When is the right time to get a mammogram?
It is generally recommended for women to start getting mammograms every year once they reach 40-years-old, and if they are at high risk for breast cancer, they should go as soon as possible. Generally speaking, it is also best to go about a week after your menstrual period for a more comfortable experience.

What should I wear?
Make sure to wear comfortable, baggy clothes to make changing easier. You will be asked to change into a gown, and remove your bra. Also, make sure not to wear any lotions, creams, or deodorant the day of as they can show up as white spots on the image.

Should only women get mammograms?
No, men are also at risk for breast cancer. In fact, a man’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000. While small, this is still a significant risk, so every male should periodically check their breast tissue for lumps or hard bumps.

What can I expect during the procedure?
Typically, a mammogram will take around 20 minutes to complete. Larger breasts will be compressed between two metal plates for a couple seconds at a time and re-positioned a few times to get multiple unique pictures. Smaller breasts will be examined with a diagnostic imaging machine similar to that of an ultra sound.

Mammograms can save your life. If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact our center today.