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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 plastic plates, which will compress your breast while the x-ray is taken.

Note: Do not wear deodorant, lotion or powder to your mammogram appointment. These items can show on an x-ray and confuse the findings.

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 designed to be fast and relatively low-cost. They are routine yearly screening tests for women without breast symptoms.

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

Be A Partner In Your Health Decisions

Women must be their own best advocates and take responsibility for their health. A good way to do that is by committing to routine screening exams, such as pap smears and mammograms, as recommended by your doctor.

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.

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