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Ways to Prepare for Your Mammogram

Most things go better with a little preparation, and mammograms are no exception.

How to prepare for a mammogram infographic, Lg

 

Ways to Prepare for Your Mammogram

Most things go better with a little preparation, and mammograms are no exception. Whether it's your first mammogram or you've been getting the tests faithfully for years, these tips from the American Cancer Society (ACS) can help the whole process go more smoothly:

Be consistent

Try to go to the same facility every time you get a mammogram. That way your images can be easily compared from year to year. But if you've had mammograms elsewhere, get the old images and bring them with you.

Schedule smart

If you're menstruating, try to avoid getting your mammogram the week before your period. Instead schedule a time for when your breasts aren't likely to be tender or swollen. That will ease any discomfort and help get better pictures.

Don't wear deodorant the day of the exam

Some contain substances that can show up on x-rays as white spots.

Speak up

Describe any breast symptoms or problems to the technologist doing the mammogram. Also bring up any medical history that could affect your breast cancer risk, such as hormone use or breast cancer in your family.

Ask when to expect the results

If you don't hear, don't assume the results are normal. Get back in touch.

Stay on top of screening

Be sure to talk with your doctor about the best mammogram schedule for you. Here's what the ACS advises for women at average risk of breast cancer in the following age ranges:

40 to 44. You have the option to start screening with yearly mammograms.

45 to 54. Get yearly mammograms.

55 and older. You can switch to a mammogram every other year or continue with yearly screening for as long as you're in good health.

Related: Fun Facts About Dental Health

 

Additional reference: Radiological Society of North America

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