Getting a mammogram probably ranks right up there with going to the dentist and getting your oil changed. Like those two tasks, mammograms are preventative maintenance and a chore that we all MUST undertake to stay healthy and enjoy peace of mind. Below, we’ve provided information and tips on how to cruise through your next mammogram.
What To Know:
When choosing where to have your mammogram, here are a few tips. Look for a facility that’s accredited. The American College of Radiology (ACR) designates certain facilities as Breast Imaging Centers of Excellence (BICOE), indicating that the facility’s staff has received training and accreditation well beyond what is required for simple mammography accreditation. To be named a BICOE, a facility must also earn accreditation in stereotactic breast biopsy, breast ultrasound, and breast MRI. You should also check to see what type of equipment the facility uses.
What To Wear:
Here’s the list of what to wear along with some other helpful hints specifically about your exam:
- Wear two-piece clothing (top and pants/skirt) to simplify undressing for exam.
- Do not apply talc, deodorant, oils or creams on your upper body the day of the exam.
- Some women experience breast tenderness with their menstrual cycle. If this is the case, you may want to schedule the exam one to two weeks after your period when breasts tend to be less tender.
- In some women, caffeine-containing products (cola, coffee, chocolate) can increase tenderness in breasts. Women who are sensitive should limit caffeine intake for two weeks prior to exam.
- If you have had prior mammograms performed at other imaging facilities, notify your doctor so that the previous study may be requested for comparison.
- Tell the technologist if you have breast implants.
- Inform your doctor if you are or may be pregnant or nursing prior to any radiological imaging. Your doctor may recommend another type of test to reduce the possible risk of exposing your baby to radiation.