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What is a mammogram?

A mammogram, often called "the picture that can save your life," is a safe, low-dose x-ray able to detect irregularities in the breast that neither you nor your doctor can feel. To take your mammogram, the technologist will have you stand in front of the x-ray machine and place your breast between two imaging plates, which will compress your breast while the x-ray is taken.

Note: Try to avoid wearing deodorant, lotion or powder to your mammogram appointment. These items can show on an x-ray and confuse the findings. Please advise your technologist if you need a wipe to remove these from your body prior to your exam.

Will it hurt?

While a firm breast compression is necessary, the technologist will take great care to make you as comfortable as possible. Any discomfort won’t last more than a few seconds.

What is the difference between a screening mammogram and a diagnostic mammogram?

A screening mammogram is a routine yearly screening tests for women without breast symptoms.

A diagnostic mammogram is done for women who have developed breast symptoms, or have had a previous breast cancer.

After a diagnostic mammogram, do not be alarmed if the radiologist asks for more x-rays or an ultrasound to clarify the findings. Usually additional studies simply prove that there is no cause for concern.

What are some of the possible signs and symptoms to watch for?

Symptoms of breast disease include a lump that you can feel, nipple discharge, breast pain, a suspicious area noted on a screening mammogram, or generalized swelling in part of the breast. Increase your chances for early detection of breast cancer by:

  • Performing a breast self-exam every month
  • Having a clinical breast exam and mammograms every year
  • Seeing your doctor immediately if you notice warning signs such as pain, nipple discharge or a lump you can feel
  • Talking with your doctors regularly about ways to reduce your risk

Will I always need to have a yearly mammogram?

YES! The risk of breast cancer increases sharply with age. Most doctors recommend that you begin having yearly mammograms at age 40.

If you have questions, concerns (or compliments!) about our mammography services, please call us at 909.793.4399.
We look forward to seeing you again.