When should I schedule my first mammogram?
The most recent recommendations from the American Cancer Society, states that:
- Women ages 40 to 44 should have the choice to start annual breast cancer screening with mammograms (x-rays of the breast) if they wish to do so.
- Women age 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year.
- Women 55 and older should switch to mammograms every 2 years, or can continue yearly screening.
Breast health before age 40
Breast self-exams should be performed monthly for those under the age of 40. The following infographic is helpful with what to look for during your breast self-examination.
If you notice any changes–such as new lumps, tenderness, changes in skin or nipple–contact your doctor at Summit OBGYN to schedule a clinical breast examination. Your doctor will schedule a mammogram if needed for further testing.
What To Expect With A Mammogram
1. What exactly is a mammogram? A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast to see changes.
2. Where do I get a mammogram? Summit OBGYN can help you schedule your mammogram through the radiation department at the hospital. Campbell County Health Hospital recently upgraded their mammogram machine from 2D to 3D technology. This allows your doctor at Summit OBGYN to better see each individual layer of the breast tissue when needed.
3. When do I schedule my mammogram? It is best to schedule your mammogram for about a week after your menstrual period. Your breasts won’t be as tender or swollen, minimizing your discomfort during the procedure.
4. What should I wear to my mammogram? Wear a two piece outfit because you will need to remove your top and bra. The day of your procedure, don’t apply deodorant, anti-prespirant, ointments, or lotion on or around your breast. These products can show up as white spots on the x-ray.
5. What should I expect during the procedure? The entire procedure takes about 20 minutes. The breast is positioned between two plastic plates and then an x-ray is taken. The plastic plates are repositioned as well as moved to the other side to x-ray the opposite breast. Compressing the breast may be uncomfortable but is necessary to provide a clear view of the breast tissue.
6. When will I receive my results? You should receive your results within 30 days. If your doctor finds something suspicious, she may contact within a week. This doesn’t mean you have cancer. A suspicious finding may mean dense breast tissue or a cyst. Or if this is your first mammogram, your doctor may want take additional x-rays to look more closely at an area due to not having previous mammogram x-rays to compare to.
Ensure the Best Health for Yourself
Monthly self-exams and mammograms are two of the most effective measures to detect breast cancer early, helping to ensure the best health for yourself. For additional questions, call Summit OBGYN or send a message through our online portal.