Limitations Of Mammograms - Doctor Looks for on Your Mammogram)
· To have a mammogram you must undress above the waist. The facility will give you a wrap to wear.
· A technologist will be there to position your breasts for the mammogram. Most technologists are women. You and the technologist are the only ones in the room during the mammogram.
· To get a high-quality mammogram picture with excellent image quality, it is necessary to flatten the breast slightly. The technologist places the breast on the mammogram machine's lower plate, which is made of metal and has a drawer to hold the x-ray film or the camera to produce a digital image. The upper plate, made of plastic, is lowered to compress the breast for a few seconds while the technician takes a picture.
· The whole procedure takes about 20 minutes. The actual breast compression only lasts a few seconds.
· You will feel some discomfort when your breasts are compressed, and for some women compression can be painful. Try not to schedule a mammogram when your breasts are likely to be tender, as they may be just before or during your period.
· All mammogram facilities are now required to send your results to you within 30 days. Generally, you will be contacted within 5 working days if there is a problem with the mammogram.
· Being called back for more testing does not mean that you have cancer. In fact, less than 10% of women who are called back for more tests are found to have breast cancer. Being called back occurs fairly often, and it usually just means an additional image or an ultrasound needs to be done to look at an area more clearly. This is more common for first mammograms (or when there is no previous mammogram to look at) and in mammograms done in women before menopause. It may be slightly less common for digital mammograms.
· Only 2 to 4 mammograms of every 1,000 lead to a diagnosis of cancer. If you are a woman aged 40 or over, you should get a mammogram every year. You can schedule the next one while you're at the facility and/or request a reminder.