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We are a breast cancer prevention site. We post information about breast cancer facts, mammograms, chemotherapy, breast cancer clinics and much more. REMEMBER: This is an information only site, not medical advice!

What is a mammogram?

A mammogram is a test which uses an X-ray to look at breasts for any signs of abnormalities. This screening is a test procedure that can help in the detection of breast cancer. A mammogram can be completed at local hospitals, clinics or doctor's offices. There are some local clinics who will perform this test also. A mammogram test may be uncomfortable however it has been known to detect cancer 1 to 2 years before it is felt in the breast as a lump. The American Cancer Society and the American College of Surgeons currently recommend that a woman obtain her first baseline mammogram between the ages of 35 to 40. Between the ages of 40 to 50 a mammogram should be done every other year. After the age of 50, a mammogram should be repeated yearly. Women who are at high risk for developing breast cancer may need to obtain mammograms earlier than these recommendations and at more frequent intervals.

The process of a mammogram exam is explained and in most cases the process is completed by a radiologist or technician. It is very important to let the person know who is performing this test on you any information they ask about family information, breast surgery, hormones, etc. The mammogram itself can take up to approximately 30 minutes depending upon what needs to be completed and the type of mammogram - some are still using traditional and there are the newer digital mammograms available for use now.

Breast Care is Key

In order to have the test results be correct, it is important for the patient to be well prepared before it is completed. To do this, talk to your doctor and/or the technician the day or a few days before the test is due to occur. They will tell you what must be done in order to get a clear reading. Since you are having your body examined with an X-ray machine, it would be best to follow a few good points. Be sure there is no lotion or any excessive soap residue left over in the area which will be examined. It is best to not use any type of jewelry because it will have to be removed anyway before the procedure. Perfume has been known to cause misreadings as well. Your doctor will have more of this valuable information to make note of.



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