Mammography is a type of study that is carried out with a mammographer in which the mammary gland is explored in a diagnostic way through X-rays. This study intends to discover possible alterations early to be treated in time and fight breast cancer in its early onset stages; For the study, the woman must comply with an established protocol, such as not using deodorant reporting on previous studies, among others.
When to have a mammogram?
It is advised that every woman over 40 should have a mammogram study once a year. However, those women who have a high risk of a family history of breast cancer can do it around the age of 30, many doctors recommend that it be from the age of 35.
All this information must be guided by a treating specialist doctor so that the woman can have a timely diagnosis or simply comply with the protocol for early detection of breast cancer.
Preparation for mammography
Is it time to schedule your mammogram study? Follow the following recommendations to make your experience optimal.
1- If it is your first time, the first thing you should do is consult your treating doctor’s opinion to go to the specialized center that offers good diagnostic equipment.
2- Come a few days before to request all the information in relation to the study.
In this case, it is important that you ask about the hours of operation, cost, payment methods, request for an appointment, among others.
3- If it is not the first time that you have a mammogram, it is necessary that you take with you the mammographic studies of the previous years so that they can establish comparisons of images.
This should be taken into account, especially if you have changed health centers and are visiting for the first time.
Whatever the health center, you must always present the reports of previous studies, this is taken as one of the fundamental requirements.
4- A good recommendation to have a mammogram is to schedule your appointment when you do not have your period or the days before your arrival, since on those days, your breasts are usually more swollen and sensitive.
Otherwise, the inconvenience caused during the study may prevent quality images from being obtained, and another appointment may be necessary to repeat the entire process.
5- On the day of the mammogram study, avoid using deodorant, antiperspirant, perfumes, or talcum powder.
These substances could interfere with the diagnosis since they are usually seen as white spots, which reduces the quality of the images obtained.
6- Preferably, do not attend the appointment with a dress.
At the time of conducting the study, you must remove the upper part of your clothing including the bra, it will be easier if you attend with pants or a skirt because you will not have to undress completely.
7- It is necessary that you tell the health team the reasons why you are having the mammogram.You should also mention if you have felt any discomfort or any sudden change in your breasts so that they can emphasize a specific area.
8- Since mammography is an imaging study, it is necessary that you notify the health team if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Consult with the staff who attended you for when you will have the results of your studies, it is necessary that they be seen by your doctor regardless of whether it is just a routine checkup.