Getting a mammogram is an essential part of maintaining your breast and overall health. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. However, mammogram screenings help with early detection and can significantly boost your odds of beating it.
So when should you start regular mammograms? Does personal and family medical history matter? What should you do to prepare for a mammogram? What can you expect once you’re in the gynecology office?
Here’s everything you need to know to prepare for your mammogram in Logan, Utah.
What is a Mammogram?
A mammogram is a low-dose x-ray that allows medical professionals to identify and assess abnormal changes in breast tissue. Make sure you get a mammogram at a center that specializes in breast imaging and has an FDA certificate posted at their facility.
Medicare and most private insurance covers an annual mammogram with no co-pay or other out of pocket costs.
When Should You Get a Mammogram?
Start by consulting with your doctor. The National Cancer Institute also has a breast cancer risk assessment tool. This can help determine if you’re considered at average or high risk for breast cancer.
If you have an average risk for breast cancer, starting at age 40, talk to your doctor about whether they recommend you start mammogram screening. Most women start with annual mammograms once they turn 45. If results are normal, it could switch to every other year starting at age 55.
If you fall into the high risk category, get a mammogram every year once you’re 40. You might start even earlier depending on your personal and family history, breast abnormalities, or other risk factors. If a close relative has had breast cancer, it might be recommend to start annual mammograms once you’re 30. It is very unlikely to start younger than that.
Be sure to tell your doctor if you notice any changes to your breasts. no matter your age.
How To Prepare For a Mammogram
To avoid discomfort from tender or swollen breasts, try to schedule your mammogram to be about a week after your menstrual period. Wear an outfit that makes it easy to remove your top and your bra. Also, avoid wearing deodorant, potion, or powders on your chest on the day of your mammogram.
If you’ve had a biopsy, mammogram, or other breast treatments at other facilities in the past, bring a list of that medical history to your gynecology office. Also, be prepared to describe any changes you may have noticed and tell your doctor if you’re breastfeeding or pregnant.
What To Expect During and After Your Mammogram Screening
The procedure should only take about 20 minutes. Your breasts will be compressed and repositioned as x-ray pictures are taken. You may experience some discomfort as the breast is flattened, but don’t be alarmed. This technique helps get a clearer view of the breast and makes it possible for less radiation to be used during the x-ray.
It typically takes up to 30 days to get the results back from your mammogram screening. If something abnormal is found, you’ll likely hear back within a week or so to schedule follow-up testing.
Something abnormal or suspicious in your mammogram results doesn’t always indicate breast cancer. It’s important to keep that in mind if you are asked to come in for additional testing. It’s possible that your doctor wasn’t able to get a clear image and needs you to come in for another screening, you have dense breast tissue, or a cyst was found.
Mammogram in Logan, Utah
Cache Valley Women’s Center at the Lodge provides mammograms and a full range of gynecology treatment for women throughout Logan, Utah. Your health and happiness is our highest priority.
We look forward to providing you with mammogram screenings for breast health and any other women’s healthcare need in our Logan, Utah office.