What You Should Know About Diagnostic Mammograms | Surgical Associates of Cleveland

Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Surgical Associates of Cleveland would like to cover the best prep tips for a diagnostic mammogram. As always, please don’t hesitate to let us know if you have questions. When having a mammogram, consider these tips:

It’s best to schedule your mammogram when your breasts aren’t swollen or tender. That will help reduce your discomfort and obtain better pictures. Always try to avoid the week just before your period.

On the day of your mammogram, don’t wear deodorant or antiperspirant because these substances can show up on x-rays as white spots.

If you wear a skirt or pants, you’ll only need to remove your top and bra for the exam.

Let your health care provider know if there have been any changes or problems in your breasts before getting the mammogram.

At your mammogram, also describe any breast changes or problems to the technologist. Disclose your family medical history and breast cancer risk—including surgery, hormone use, and breast cancer in your family.

Related: consider the signs and symptoms of breast cancer.

Before any imaging test, tell the technologist if you’re breastfeeding or if you think you might be pregnant.

During your mammogram, you’ll have to undress above the waist. The facility will provide a wrap for your torso.

The technologist will position your breasts for the screening. You and the technologist will be the only ones in the room.

For the best image results, your breast must be flattened. The mammogram’s plastic plate is lowered to compress your breast for a few seconds for the picture.

Though the entire procedure takes about 20 minutes, the breast compression only lasts seconds.

Compression may cause some discomfort, but you should tell the technologist if it hurts.

Two views of each breast are taken for a screening mammogram. But for some women, such as those with breast implants or large breasts, more pictures may be needed.

A diagnostic mammogram typically takes more photos than a screening mammogram.

During the diagnostic mammogram, the images get checked by the radiologist so more pictures may be taken if needed.

Related: Learn more about cancer screening guidelines.

Surgical Associates of Cleveland are pleased to assist you with many diagnostic exams. Give us a call with any questions you might have. Be sure to visit our website for more information.