All About Mammography
|Mammography is an X-ray of your breasts. It helps find breast cancer and other
- lumps that may be cancer (most are not!)
- breast changes that could lead to cancer
- breast lumps before you or your health-care provider can feel them
- once by age 40
- every 1-2 years between ages 40 and 49
- every year after age 50
- Choose a good time.
Try to pick a day of the month when your breasts are
- Follow these special instructions.
- You must have a prescription from
your referring physician.
- If your prior films were not taken at this facility, make sure you have
them the day of the exam.
- Do not wear deodorant or powder. This can show up on your films.
- Screening mammograms are read approximately 1-2 weeks after your
exam. Diagnostic mammograms are read while you wait.
The test is simple and quick.
Results are usually ready in a week to 10 days.
- You will undress above the waist. The technologist will give you a gown
and take your prior history. Then you will be positioned at the mammography
- Your breast will be compressed between 2 plastic plates. You may feel
a little discomfort for a few seconds.
- X-rays will be taken. One will be taken from the top. Then one will be taken from
the side. Your other breast will be X-rayed the same way.
- Early treatment saves lives.
- Mammograms often find breast cancer very early. This means:
- a much better chance of cure
- more ways to treat the cancer
Ask your health-care provider about the benefits and risks of mammography.
- Mammography uses very low radiation. Radiation carries a small risk of causing
cancer. Still mammography is now safer than ever!
Take charge of your health. Don't put off your mammograms!
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