The Importance of Continued Mammograms

The Importance of Continued Mammograms

You’ve probably heard that getting a mammogram is important, but once you get your first one that doesn’t mean you’re finished. A mammogram can help detect breast cancer during its early stages which increases your chances of beating it. This means that getting regular mammograms in coordination with a physical breast exam by your provider is key in continuing to screen for breast cancer throughout a woman’s life.

Women should start getting mammograms at the age of 40 and continue every year thereafter.

Once you’ve had your first mammogram you’ll know what to expect in the future, but for those who have yet to have one here are some things you’ll want to know.

  • Arrive at least 15 minutes early to fill out paperwork including your family history and medical history.
  • Wear a two-piece outfit because you will need to get undressed from the waist up. You will also be provided a gown you will wear during the screening.
  • Each of your breasts will be placed on a flat surface of a mammography unit and compression will be used to secure your breast and flatten the tissue to get clear images.
  • Usually, two images of each breast are taken, but women with breast implants may require more.
  • You might be asked to hold your breath during the X-ray and you may feel some discomfort which will subside after the test is finished.

Your first mammogram is very important because it will be compared to any future mammograms to detect any changes in your breasts year-over-year. If you change mammography locations be sure to bring your past images with you or have them sent over. To schedule an appointment, contact Salem Radiology today at 503-399-1262.

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