A mammogram is radiological imaging of the breast that can detect cancerous cells in the breast tissue. While performing mammography, a patients’ breasts are compressed between the machine to spread out the breast tissue. Mammograms play an essential role in detecting breast cancer before any visual signs or symptoms appear. Mammograms are used for screening or diagnostic purposes. Moreover, screening mammograms are used to find the changes in the breast that could be cancerous in people who have no signs. Diagnostic mammograms are used to investigate breast changes in patients showing symptoms of breast cancer.
Women are advised to get a breast screening done annually. Idaho mammography screening center offers the best and most comfortable screening options.
Preparation before the mammogram.
When patients observe tenderness or swelling near their breast or armpit, they should schedule a mammogram screening. If the patient has had mammography earlier, they are advised to bring a previous mammography result with them to the clinic so that the new images obtained can be compared to the old ones.
Things to do before mammograms
Patients could have a meal before a mammogram as it does not affect the outcome of the result.
Patients should discuss their medical conditions with their doctor, including breast changes and family history of breast cancer.
If the patient feels worried about pain or experienced pain with their past screenings, they are advised to take pain medication before the screening.
Wearing comfortable clothing:
It is advised to wear loose and comfortable clothes for screening.
Things not to do before screening
Use of deodorant:
Patients are advised not to use deodorants before examination or any other lotion around the breast. These appear as white spots in the X-ray and can be misinterpreted as cancer.
Don’t go before or during the menstrual cycle.
During menstruation, the breast becomes more tender and swollen; scheduling a screening around this period can cause discomfort to the patient during the examination. It is recommended to go for mammography after the menstrual cycle is over.
Do not consume caffeine:
Patients who are highly sensitive to caffeine are advised not to consume caffeine products up to 2 weeks before the appointment as caffeine tenderizes the mammary region, which results in discomfort.
Mammography uses a low-dose X-ray. Therefore the risk of radiation exposure is less. And the discomfort or pain due to compression of the breast tissue is bearable and is just for a few seconds.