For those of you who haven't experienced a mammogram yet you may be feeling apprehensive. A mammogram is an important part of breast cancer screening. Guidelines for when to begin mammograms have recently changed. It used to be that physicians recommended that women should begin yearly mammograms at age 40. In 2009 the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force decided that unless a woman has a family history or high risk of breast cancer that age 50 is appropriate to begin bi-yearly mammograms.
A mammogram is a non-invasive procedure that takes x-ray pictures of the breasts. Typically a basic mammogram takes about 20 minutes from start to finish.
What to Expect
Your mammogram technician will take you into a private room and hand you a very stylish hospital gown that opens in the front. You will be advised to strip from the waist up and put the gown on.
The technician will then explain the process to you and warn you of potential discomfort. Note, this is not the personal discomfort of having a stranger manipulate and smush your girls but the physical discomfort that may be caused by the mammogram machine.
You will then be asked to remove one side of your gown and step up to the machine. Your breast will be placed on an adjustable tray and with a lot of up close manipulating will be pushed, pulled and tugged into the proper position before an upper tray closes down on it. There will be a bit of pressure and the position is a bit uncomfortable but not painful.
Once your breast is all squished and situated and the tray is locked in the technician will tell you to hold your breath while the x-ray is taken. As soon as it is finished (just a few seconds) the tray will release and you can breathe. A basic mammogram will require a side and top view of your breast which means that you will have to go through the positioning and clamping once again on the first breast before starting all over with the other one.
Afterward you may experience some redness, tenderness and even bruising of your breast and chest tissue. These irritating results will fade in a few days.
While the procedure is somewhat intimate and embarrassing as well as uncomfortable mammograms are important if you are of the age, if your doctor recommends it, or if you find anything unusual during your monthly self breast exams.
My name is Suz and I'm just an everyday woman who is trying to figure out when exactly I turned old. I'm not a doctor or an expert- what I am is a woman who wants to know for myself and to share what I learn with other women.
All Asthma Body Shape Copd Diet Duke Diet Exercise Fitness Foods For Weight Loss Gluten Free Health Just Say No Lemons Mental Health Multi-tasking Relaxation Skypercise Stress Stress Management Stress Management Time For You Time Management Time Management Water Weight Loss Workouts