Having a mammogram is one of the easiest and best ways you can take care
of yourself and your breasts. And making sure you get one every year after
age 45 could save your life.
A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast to look for early signs of breast
cancer. Some women may feel discomfort while having a mammogram, depending
on their pain level. The doctor will have you stand in front of an X-ray
machine and place your breast on a special plate. The plate flattens the
breast so the technician can take the pictures. The process will be repeated
for all sides of the breast. Then, a radiologist will examine all four
pictures for signs of early breast cancer.
Before going to your mammogram appointment, you’ll want to keep a
few thing in mind to make your mammogram go smoother, according to the
- Avoid going to get a mammogram the week before your period because your
breasts may be tender and swollen and you won’t get good pictures
of your breasts.
- Don’t wear deodorant to your appointment because it can show up as
white spots on your X-ray.
- Wear a skirt or pants to the mammogram. That way, you’ll only need
to remove your shirt and bra for the mammogram.
It usually takes a few weeks to receive your results. Call your doctor
if you haven’t been notified of the results within 30 days. If you
have an abnormal mammogram, it doesn’t always mean you have breast
cancer. You may be referred for additional mammograms and a breast specialist
or surgeon because they are experts at diagnosing breast issues. Again,
these follow-up doctor visits and tests may find no cancer.
Mammograms are usually free. Most insurance plans offer a yearly mammogram
for free. If you don’t have insurance or are underinsured, there
are places that offer free mammograms. Saint Francis Healthcare will offer
a free mammogram and breast exam in the Mammography Department on October
17, 2018. Because space is limited, you must pre-register at 302.421.4883.
A mammogram can detect breast cancer up to three years before breast cancer
lumps can be felt, according to
CDC. If you think you may have a breast lump, a history of breast cancer in
your family or are over age 40, call your doctor for an examination and
mammogram or visit Saint Francis on October 17 for your free mammogram.