Diagnostic tests are beneficial for detecting specific health conditions before they become too serious. The mammogram is an example of an imaging test that saves countless lives. Mammograms allow for the early detection of breast cancer, drastically increasing survival rates. By making adequate preparations, you can maximize the benefits you gain from this critical imaging test and make the testing process go smoothly.
First, you have to know how frequently you need to get a mammogram. Too few mammograms translate to lower chances of catching breast cancer in its early stages. On the other hand, too frequent mammograms are costly, elevate the risk of false positives, and increase the amount of radiation encountered by your body.
While your optimal screening schedule can vary, the American College of Physicians suggests breast screening every two years for healthy women between the ages of 50 and 74. Routine screenings are not specifically recommended for women outside of this age group. Of course, your doctor might prescribe more frequent screenings if you are at higher risk, such as if you have a family history of breast cancer.
Aside from scheduling, you need to plan where you’ll have your mammogram. Make sure that the mammogram facility has certifications and a lot of experience. Compliance with standards ensures that the facility can provide safe and accurate mammograms.
Breast tissue is sensitive to the hormonal changes that occur with each menstrual cycle. In particular, your breasts might be more tender and pain-sensitive before and during your menstrual flow. The tenderness might make you more uncomfortable during a mammogram since the machine plates need to apply slight pressure to your breasts to get a clear image. Hence, it’s a good idea to get a mammogram after you have had your period.
Even a thin layer of many deodorants can cause poor quality images from mammograms. These consumer products have metallic components, which often act as active ingredients that prevent odor or sweating. The presence of these metallic compounds can interfere with the radiation that the imaging machine uses to form an image during a mammogram.
If you’re concerned about odor and sweat, ask if you can schedule the mammogram in the morning. Bring deodorant with you that you can apply after the mammogram.
Clothing and Accessories
The technician will request you to remove all of your clothing in the upper body, including your bra. To make the procedure less complicated, avoid one-piece garments, such as dresses. Stick to pants or skirts to avoid the inconvenience of having to remove clothing from your entire body. If you forget, don’t worry – the technician will provide you with something to wear during the mammogram.
If you have implanted accessories such as pacemakers, make sure to discuss it with your doctor before having a mammogram. These devices may interfere with the mammogram images, so you need to get approval first from your medical professional.
Getting Quality Mammograms with Independent Imaging
The experienced diagnostics staff at Independent Imaging deliver high-quality imaging services. We offer digital mammography, and we will help you make all the preparations necessary to make the procedure successful.
With locations in Belle Glade, Lake Worth, Wellington, and Royal Palm Beach, Florida, accessing our facilities shouldn’t be a problem. For inquiries or to make an appointment, call us at (561) 795-5558 or fill out our online appointment form.