Mammograms are an essential part of your health as they are effective in detecting breast cancer early on. The exam utilizes a low-dose X-ray to look at your breast tissue. It can effectively detect changes in your breast tissue which is helpful in determining if you have breast cancer or other breast conditions. Whether it’s your first mammogram or not, there are effective ways to prepare. Below you will find helpful tips for the night before a mammogram.
Tips for the Night Before a Mammogram
There are a number of ways to prepare for your exam. Consider the following the night before your next mammogram.
Skin Care and Hygiene Products:
While you may want to shower and lotion up, avoid this before your mammogram. These products often contain ingredients that can impact your X-ray images. Aluminum is commonly found in these products and those particles can mimic calcifications on an X-ray. Calcifications are calcium deposits that occur after a breast injury, infection, cyst, and they can also look like the early signs of breast cancer. If calcifications show up on your diagnostic mammography exam in Houston your medical provider will inevitably ask for additional testing. Avoid wearing or using deodorant, antiperspirant, lotion, creams, powders, or perfume on your underarm or chest the night before and the day of our mammogram.
What to Eat and Drink:
Mammograms don’t require that you fast beforehand. In fact, it’s best to eat a simple and healthy meal the night before so you feel good when you wake up the next morning. It’s helpful to avoid fried foods, fatty foods, and anything with caffeine in it. Caffeine can be found in a lot of foods and drinks, including coffee, tea, soda, energy drinks, and chocolate.
You don’t have to take medication before your mammogram. However, you can take certain over-the-counter medications to help reduce any pain or discomfort during the exam. While the exam is nearly painless, some women experience brief discomfort. If you have a low pain tolerance, consider taking acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen. These can provide relief and have no impact on your mammogram results.
Avoid scheduling your mammogram before your menstrual period. The week leading up to your menstrual period often comes with breast tenderness. This can make your mammogram slightly more uncomfortable than usual so it’s best to wait until after.
The Day Of Your Mammogram
There are a number of tips that can help you smoothly get through your mammogram. On the day of your appointment, wear comfortable clothing. You will need to undress from the waist up so avoid wearing dresses or one-piece outfits. Pants or a skirt are your best options for optimal comfort.
Arrive early on the day of your breast cancer screening in Houston. This can help you avoid any nerves and allow enough time for you to check in and fill out any necessary medical paperwork. You may be in the medical office for around an hour, but the mammogram itself takes just 10 to 15 minutes.
The Importance of Mammograms
Mammograms are a highly effective diagnostic tool. It can detect the early signs of breast cancer and other breast-related health issues. It is recommended that you get your first mammogram at age 40. However, those that are high-risk may need to get their first mammogram sooner. Consult with your medical provider on your level of risk and when you should get your first mammogram. If you are over 40 and haven’t had a mammogram in the last year, or if you are over 50 and haven’t gotten one in the last two years, consult with your medical provider right away as it’s likely time for your regular mammogram.