Are Breast Exams Painful?

Breast exams are a necessary part of your overall health and wellness as you get older. Breast exams are recommended around the age of 40, and sometimes earlier if you are at a higher risk. Your first breast exam may seem foreign, and you’ll likely have a lot of questions about how it goes. One of the main questions people ask is, are breast exams painful? Another one is, how long does the appointment take? The list goes on, so it’s important to ease your anxiety and prepare yourself in advance.

Are Breast Exams Painful?

Below you will find some helpful tips to help you get through your breast exam with ease.

Breast Exams and the Fear of Pain

Because the ins and outs of breast exams are not often talked about, they can be unfamiliar and cause some anxiety. Breast exam appointments are often seen on television shows or movies where a woman’s breast is smashed down between two metal plates. While this is part of the exam, it is not as dramatic or painful as Hollywood makes it. The plates used to conduct breast exams are made of acrylic and are contoured in a way that helps achieve the best images with the least amount of discomfort.

The level of discomfort, if any, is often based on a variety of factors. For example, the timing of your menstrual cycle can impact whether you feel any discomfort. Most often it is suggested that you set your appointment a week after your menstrual cycle has ended. The sensitivities you feel before and during your cycle can be exacerbated during a breast exam. Another factor that can impact your level of discomfort is the size of your breasts. Because the plates are made for the average breast size, those that are much smaller or much larger chested may experience some discomfort. Lastly, the technician’s skill level and how they place your breast on the plates are also factors. While most people do not experience pain, some experience slight discomfort.

The Importance of Breast Cancer Screening

It’s important to talk with your doctor about your level of risk for breast cancer. Roughly one in eight women are impacted by breast cancer in their lifetime. While most doctors recommend that you get your first mammogram around the age of 40, women who are at a higher risk of breast cancer should get checked out sooner. Women at a higher risk of breast cancer are those who have family members who have had it. Other factors may place you at a higher risk, so it is important to stay in direct communication with your medical provider about your health.

Breast imaging in Houston is important for your overall health. It is used to detect early-stage disease, evaluate abnormalities, and monitor your overall breast health. Breast imaging is highly important and a huge factor in early detection. Detecting breast cancer early can increase your health outcomes drastically if you are diagnosed with it. Staying consistent and following your doctor’s advice is integral to your health as regular breast cancer screening is the most effective modality for detecting breast cancer. In fact, over the last three decades, there have been major advancements in detecting breast cancer. Since then, more than half a million deaths have been prevented in the United States.

Schedule Your Imaging Appointment Today

Talk with your doctor and schedule your appointment at the recommended time. Your first appointment may cause some anxiety, but it should go smoothly. The first appointment itself usually takes less than an hour. You will usually get your results back within two weeks. It’s important to take the time to invest in your health by scheduling your regular breast exams. Contact Pink Door Imaging today for an appointment!

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