Getting medical procedures such as a mammogram can make anyone nervous, especially if it’s your first time. In this article, you will discover what a mammogram is, how it is done, and what to remember when you’re getting the procedure. What is a mammogram? A mammogram is an x-ray image of the breast taken to identify abnormalities such as masses or microcalcifications, which may be signs of cancer. Normally, you should get a mammogram every few years, or if you’ve noticed any abnormality in your breast.
What happens during a mammogram? When getting a mammogram, there is a certain procedure that you will follow. Here is what happens when you undergo a mammogram:
You stand in front of the x-ray machine specifically designed for the mammogram. You will need to remove your top and bra.
You will have your breasts placed on a plastic plate by the machine technician. They will place another plate on top of your breasts. You may feel some pressure and even discomfort once the technician does this. Each breast is only pressed for about half a minute.
The entire procedure takes around half an hour. The x-ray technician will notify you once the mammogram is done. They will also study the images to make sure they have been captured correctly.
Remember that the x-ray technologist does not provide you with the results. They only help you in getting the procedure done and ensuring the x-rays are captured completely to make spotting abnormalities easier. You will be given the results later by your doctor. What are things you should remember when getting a mammogram? Here are some reminders for you in case you are undergoing a mammogram.
Getting a mammogram near or during your menstrual cycle is not advisable since it can make the procedure more painful and uncomfortable due to the tenderness of your breasts at this time.
A mammogram can only be taken if your breasts are bare. You will be asked to undress your upper body, so dressing accordingly is highly advisable.
Using products on the skin around your breasts such as makeup, deodorants, and perfume is not recommended.
If you’ve been vaccinated, especially for COVID-19 recently, you’ll have to check with your doctor about whether getting a mammogram is right for you at this time.
Mammogram FAQs Is a mammogram uncomfortable? In getting a mammogram, your breasts will be compressed to capture their image on the x-ray plate. This might cause you to feel slight pain and discomfort in your breasts. However, the pressure will only last for a few seconds, and the pain goes once you have finished the procedure.
Remember though that getting a mammogram right before or during menstruation is more uncomfortable than at other times of the month.
What happens after the mammogram? After the procedure, a radiologist will study your images to identify any abnormality in your breasts. Your doctor will be notified of the results and will relay them to you.
How long does a mammogram result take? The actual procedure only takes a few minutes. However, receiving the results of the mammogram can take a few weeks. If you haven’t received your results after a month, it is advisable to contact your doctor.
What does a mammogram result mean? Your mammogram results will tell you whether your breasts are normal or if there are any abnormalities in your breasts. If the doctor spots any abnormality, you will be advised to get more tests done and follow-up checkups to investigate the abnormality more deeply.
If, however, the results indicate that everything is normal, you will not be asked to take more tests or follow-up checkups. In this case, you would still be encouraged to get regular screenings in the future.