mammogram

Mammogram 101: What Is It and Who Needs It?

A mammogram is essentially an x-ray of your breasts. It allows doctors to identify and treat breast cancer before it can be felt as a lump!

This informational campaign comes to you in partnership with the Stark County Community Action Agency.

It’s not comfortable and it’s not an appointment we women look forward to, but your annual mammogram appointment is a preventative, life-saving test.

What Is a Mammogram?

A mammogram is a breast x-ray. It is sometimes an uncomfortable procedure, as your boobs are squished and squashed to get accurate photos, but it’s necessary for identifying abnormalities and lumps.

While a mammogram can be uncomfortable, it is also relatively quick. And you can do a few things to make the experience a little less unpleasant.

  • Avoid scheduling your mammogram around your period, as your breasts might be more sensitive or swollen.
  • Do not wear deodorant or perfume on the day of your test- these products can show up as white spots on the x-ray images.
  • If you’re uncomfortable with undressing completely, wear a skirt or pants instead of a dress. You will be asked to disrobe from the waist up.

After your mammogram is over, a radiologist will look at the images and share the results with you. This can sometimes take a few weeks, although it shouldn’t be more than 30 days. If your results are normal, that’s great! Continue to get regular mammograms so your specialist can compare them and easily identify any differences.

If your results are abnormal, it does not mean cancer, but you will need to repeat the procedure. You may also need more testing and possible appointments with a specialist to ensure your breasts are healthy and clear.

Talk with your regular doctor about scheduling a mammogram or visit the National Cancer Institute at https://www.cancer.gov/contact to find out more. The SCCAA Community Actions Pathway HUB is an available resource for pregnant and new mothers in need of support, education, and community services.

Audrey Mattevi
Reporting

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