There comes a point in every women’s life where she finds herself needing to get a mammogram. Most women try and put this medical activity off as much as they can get away with. However, mammograms save lives and are proven to be the #1 way to detect and prevent breast cancer. We know that getting a mammogram can be a scary process to go through but Advanced Imaging Centers is here to help! Here are all your burning questions regarding mammograms.
When should I start getting mammograms?
Most doctors recommend that the best start time for getting a mammogram is at around age 40. After the age of 40, doctors recommend getting a mammogram annually. However, this could change based on different risk factors you may have such as, family history of breast cancer, having breast implants, and having already had breast cancer.
What’s the deal with mammograms and dense breasts?
Basically, some women have denser breast tissue than other women. This can be hard for a mammogram to capture a tumor with a breast that is denser than normal. Women with denser breasts may need to get more imaging done to determine if they have breast cancer.
What are the benefits of screening?
The benefits of breast cancer screening outweigh the risks. Mammograms are the best tool for screening breast cancer and have been proven to save lives because of them.
What are the risks of screening?
The main risk to mammograms are that they can sometimes give false positives. Mammograms are by no means perfect they sometimes cannot pick up on all the breast tissue in the breast, especially if you have dense breasts. That’s why it’s important to get accurate results from your mammogram.
What should I talk to my doctor about pertaining to mammograms?
The most important things to talk to your doctor about pertaining to mammograms is your level of risk. Some women don’t need to get a mammogram every year, and some women need to get them more than once a year. People are different and because of that people have different risks and tendencies pertaining to breast cancer.
Do I have to take my bra off during a mammogram?
Yes, all clothing from the waist up has to be taken off in order to get the most accurate scan possible.
Is there radiation involved in a mammogram?
Mammograms use the same technology as x-rays. So yes, they do use radiation but it is completely safe in small doses.
Will the mammogram hurt?
Women have complained of discomfort during a mammogram because the breasts have to be pushed, and squeezed different ways in order to get images from multiple angles.
How long does a scan take?
The scan takes approximately 15-20 minutes.
What should I do to prep for my appointment?
No special preparation is required, except try not to wear deodorant or anything on your underarms as it can mess with the image.
What happens after my scan?
Your images are sent to the radiologists and examined. Your primary care doctor should get the images back after 48 hours and will be prepared to explain them to you.
Where do I get a mammogram?
Usually patients get mammograms wherever their primary care doctor refers them to. However, you can go wherever you want to get a mammogram. At Advanced Imaging Centers we have board certified radiologists, friendly staff, and affordable prices. Make an appointment with us today!