Mammography

Please report to Admitting 15 minutes before your scheduled exam time.

PREP: Try to schedule your mammogram for the week following your menstrual period, when your breasts are less tender. Wear a two-piece outfit to the examination, so you only have to remove your top. Don't use any deodorant, powders, lotions, or creams on your chest area before your exam because these products can show up on the x-ray image. If you had previous mammograms at another location, you should bring the address and telephone number of that facility. If you think you are pregnant, please tell the technologist before your exam.

PURPOSE: A Mammogram is a low dose x-ray of the breast. It is the best way to find breast cancer during its early, more treatable stages. The American Cancer Society recommends that women receive an annual mammogram beginning at age 40.

WHAT TO EXPECT: Your mammogram will be performed by a specially trained female radiologic technologist. She will place one of your breasts on a small platform attached to the mammography machine. Your breast will then be gradually compressed between two smooth, flat, plastic surfaces. For screening mammography two images are taken of each breast, one from the top and one from the side. Compression is necessary to produce the best pictures using the lowest amount of radiation possible. Compression may be uncomfortable, but it shouldn't hurt. You will be asked to wait a few minutes while the x-ray films are processed. Don't be alarmed if you are asked to return for additional views. These extra views can help the radiologist see an area of the breast better.

POST EXAM INFORMATION: A doctor specially trained to read x-rays, a radiologist, looks carefully at the mammogram. The radiologist will send your personal physician a report of the findings and you will receive a letter telling you a summary of the report.

TIME FRAME: Approximately 1/2 hour.