What To Know Ahead of Your First Mammogram

A mammogram is a type of diagnostic test that can inform a patient whether or not they have developed breast cancer. It is considered an essential part of the effort to prevent and treat breast cancer. Like for any treatment, it is essential to prepare adequately for a mammogram to ensure accurate results. Doing less can mean botched results and having to return to the clinic for more tests. Though mammograms are a routine procedure, it is not abnormal to feel anxiety before the examination. If you are feeling apprehensive about your upcoming mammogram, take a look at this guide on what to know ahead of your first diagnostic mammogram.

What To Know Ahead of Your First Mammogram

1. Mammograms Do Not Take Very Long

Mammograms are not time-consuming, and you will likely be able to complete your own in a very short time.

First, the patient removes their top and bra and puts on the medical dressing gown. Then, the mammography technologist will position your breasts on an X-ray machine. The machine compresses the breasts of the patient for a few seconds while the technologist proceeds to take an X-ray. Overall, the process lasts only about five minutes.

2. Mammograms Are Not Very Stressful

Unless you have reason to believe that you have active breast cancer, a mammogram is generally a standard process that should not create very much stress. Many patients report feeling very relaxed throughout the process.

It is possible that you experience a small amount of discomfort during your mammogram. However, you should be able to report any discomfort to your technician, and they can make the necessary adjustments.

3. Do Not Be Surprised if You Are Called Back

There is a chance that you may be called back by your clinic for additional imaging and testing to get a clearer picture of what is happening with your breasts. Although this may be alarming, there is no reason to jump to conclusions, as callbacks are fairly routine.

It is best practice not to panic if you get a callback. It is likely not of serious concern. 

4. Your Technologist Can Help You

You should consider your technologist your guide for every step of the mammogram process. They are a medically trained professional who is highly knowledgeable about every step of the process that you are about to go through. If you can have a good relationship with your technician, then you can have a better relationship in general with the process of getting mammography.

5. Research Your Imaging Facility

Doing a bit of research on your options in terms of a facility can be helpful in finding a clinic that is well-equipped to fit your needs. If you do not find a clinic that you are comfortable with, it can make the mammography process much more stressful in general.

Picking a well-regarded clinic with a good track record can minimize stress surrounding the mammography process and ensure that you receive accurate, reliable results. 

6. There are Different Types of Mammograms

Technology is more sophisticated now than in decades past, and this has impacted mammograms as well. Most patients request a 3D mammogram, which can offer much clearer images and give medical professionals the most accurate idea of what is happening in their bodies.

7. Find an Imaging Center You Can Go to Consistently

Once you find a clinic that works for you and that you are comfortable with, it makes good sense to revisit the same clinic whenever you need treatment. You will be able to build a relationship with the medical team at the clinic. Given that the team that works at the clinic will be familiar with your medical history and the health of your breasts, engaging in this practice will give you a better chance of receiving accurate results.

8. Mammograms are Worth It

Mammograms can be intimidating, but they are completely worth the peace of mind you will have about knowing the exact health of your breasts. In the long run, this will give you a better shot at maintaining high levels of health in the long term.

Trust Us with Your Mammography

Pink Door Imaging has the tools and expertise to give patients the highest-quality mammographies with the most accurate results. If you’re thinking of receiving a mammography exam in Houston, contact us today to set up an appointment.

Leave a Comment