The American Cancer Society reports one out of every eight women in the U.S. will develop Breast Cancer. Early detection by way of mammography, regular self breast examiniation, and regular examiniation by your physician can significantly increase the chance of survival by up to 95%. The ACS recommends annual mammography for women over the age of 40, which most insurance plans cover annual screening exams.
Mammography uses x-rays to produce images of the breast and requires compression, so it is important to schedule your exam when your breasts are not tender. Screening mammograms are performed when a patient has no breast complaints while diagnostic mammograms are specialized studies to address a specific breast complaint. Mammography is the only screening test proven to decrease the chance of death resulting from breast cancer and has proven to find malignant tumors before they come clinically evident (sometimes years before).
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Preparation for exam:
If possible, obtain prior mammograms and make them available to the radiologist at the time of the current exam.
Describe any breast symptoms or problems to the technologist performing the exam.
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.
Before the procedure the patient is asked to remove all upper garments. If you are or think you might be pregnant, please inform your technologist before your procedure
Length of exam:
Length of exam varies from 10 – 20 minutes.
After your exam:
Ask when your results will be available. Do not assume the results are normal if you do not hear from your doctor or the mammography facility.