A mammogram is a screening test for detecting breast cancer. Many people, especially women, have their reservations while going for the X-ray, but self-examinations and mammograms are key to detecting and treating breast cancer. National Cancer Institute’s data shows that breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer in the US among women. If you are going for an Idaho mammography screening, here’s what you can expect.
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Types of mammograms
There are two types of mammograms – screening and diagnostic. If you are over the age of 40, your doctor may recommend screening mammograms as a precautionary measure. On the other hand, diagnostic mammograms are usually recommended for women who have a lump or other symptoms. If the doctor sees something unusual in a screening mammogram, they may order a diagnostic mammogram. Those who have breast implants usually need diagnostic mammograms. If you are thinking of the differences, diagnostic mammograms are more extensive, and images of both breasts are taken from different angles.
Understanding the mammogram experience
Since your breasts will be compressed against the X-ray machine to take images, you may feel some discomfort during the mammograms. If you have tender breasts or your breasts are bigger in size, you may experience more discomfort. A mammogram takes about 20 minutes, and the actual discomfort doesn’t last more than a few seconds.
Preparing for the mammogram
The screening center will give you a few instructions before the mammograms. Before you come, ensure that you have taken a bath. Do not apply deodorants, powders, creams, or perfumes. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you cannot go for a mammogram, but there are other screening tests that can be considered.
Advanced screening centers now offer breast tomosynthesis or 3D mammograms. This type of mammogram is more precise and offers clear 3D images of the breast tissues. Doctors often recommend 3D mammography when available because the results are more accurate. Also, 3D mammograms are useful for patients who have dense breasts.
Because this is an X-ray of the breast, your body is exposed to a small amount of radiation during the mammogram. However, mammograms are safe and can be considered for most patients in need. If you are expecting, your doctor will consider other options. As far as the overall experience is concerned, you have nothing to fear. Find a good and reliable screening center in Idaho for your mammogram. The skillset of the technician also makes a difference.