mammogram, common mammogram questions

Mammograms are the imaging procedure of choice for breast cancer screenings. With every one in eight women being diagnosed with breast cancer, annual mammograms are recommended for women to help catch breast cancer early and effectively fight it. Many women may have questions about breast cancer screening, how to prepare for your mammogram, or about how mammograms work. We’re here to answer the most common mammogram questions and give you knowledge for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.


How does a mammogram work?

Traditional mammograms utilize x-rays to create images of breast tissue. These x-ray images allow radiologists to spot irregularities that may point towards breast cancer. Specifically, 3D mammograms utilize the same technology but captures multiple images in the breast tissue at various angles. The machine has two plates that compress the breast to allow x-rays to pass through and create an image.


Are mammograms painful?

While topic of pain during breast imaging is often controversial, researchers have found that most women do experience pain during mammograms. Since the breasts are being compressed between the film paddle and a piece of plastic, many women experience discomfort during their procedure. When scheduling your appointment, be sure to schedule the week after your period since that is when breast are least likely to be tender.


How long do mammograms take?

Mammograms are a relatively short imaging scan and takes between 10 and 15 minutes. After the x-rays develop for about 5 minutes, you may be asked to undergo another mammogram in case repeat images need to be taken.


Why can’t I wear deodorant during my mammogram?

Deodorant, antiperspirants, lotions, and powders are not allowed during mammograms because they can cause irregularities in the imaging results. Since aluminum is often found in deodorant, it can appear at calcifications in the breast.


How can I prepare for my mammogram?

The best way to prepare for your mammogram is by scheduling your appointment at certified mammogram facility. ACR Accreditation is of utmost importance when choosing a center for your mammogram to ensure you will receive the best quality breast imaging services.


We hope your mammogram questions were answered and you feel more prepared for your annual mammogram. If you have anymore unanswered questions, feel free to give us a call. Be sure to schedule your annual mammogram or any other breast imaging procedure at one of our three centers.