Preparing for Your Mammogram
At the time of scheduling, you will be asked a few questions to determine if you should be scheduled for a screening or diagnostic mammogram. Please inform us of the location of any prior mammogram so that we may retrieve it prior to your appointment. Having your previous mammogram for comparison is very important and allows the radiologist to pick up breast changes earlier.
When you register at the facility, you will be asked to provide information regarding any prior breast surgeries or hormone use, as well as family or personal history of breast cancer. Please inform the technologist if you have any current breast health concerns so that the radiologist can be notified.
During a mammogram, you will stand in front of a special X-ray machine. One breast rests on a platform. A special plate is then brought close to the platform and briefly compresses the breast while the image is obtained. This may cause some discomfort, but it is important to spread the tissues apart so that abnormalities within the tissue will be easier to see. Please tell the technologist if you experience pain, and she will work with you to obtain the best possible images.
Your mammogram images will be transmitted to the radiologist for review and interpretation. For a screening mammogram, a detailed report will be sent to your doctor, and a summary will be mailed to you. If you are being seen for a diagnostic mammogram or ultrasound, the radiologist will discuss your results with you at the time of your visit.
Can I wear deodorant?
- Do not wear deodorant, talcum powder or lotion under your arms or on your breasts on the day of the exam. These can appear on the mammogram as calcium spots.
What If I am experiencing breast discomfort on the day of the exam?
- Describe any breast symptoms or problems to the technician performing the exam.
Do I need to bring medical history or records to the appointment?
- If possible, obtain prior mammograms and make them available to the radiologist at the time of the exam.
When do I get results?
- Ask when your results will be available; do not assume the results are normal if you do not hear from your doctor or our facility.
Should you schedule your mammogram during your period?
- Do not schedule your mammogram during the week before your period if your breasts are tender during this time. The best time for a mammogram is one to two weeks following your period. And always inform your doctor or mammogram technician if there is any possibility that you are pregnant.
When is the best time to schedule my mammogram?
- The best time for a mammogram is one to two weeks following your period. You should avoid scheduling your mammogram during the week before your period if your breasts are tender during this time. Always inform your doctor or mammogram technologist if there is any possibility that you are pregnant.
How should I prepare for the exam?
- Please do not wear deodorant, talcum powder or lotion under your arms or on your breasts on the day of the exam. These can produce artifacts on the mammogram which mimic calcium spots and may require repeat images to clear the area. For your convenience, we have deodorant which you may apply after your appointment if desired.
What information should I tell the technologist?
- Please describe any breast symptoms or problems to the technologist performing the exam.
Should I bring my old mammograms with me to my appointment?
- Yes, if possible, obtain your prior mammograms and make them available to the radiologist at the time of the exam. This will allow the radiologist to detect subtle changes that may represent cancer.
When will my results be available?
- You should receive a letter with a summary of your results and your breast density within 2 weeks. If we need you to return for additional views we will contact you by phone. Do not assume the results are normal if you do not hear from your doctor or our facility.
What should I wear to my appointment?
- Consider wearing a two piece outfit so that you only have to remove your top and bra for the examination.