This type of mammogram is used for women who are asymptomatic, meaning they have no complaints or symptoms of breast cancer. Its purpose is to identify breast abnormalities before they can be detected through breast self-exams or clinical breast exams. Screening mammograms generally involve taking x-rays from two views of each breast and can be completed in less than 15 minutes. According to the FDA, screening mammograms can detect 85% to 90% of all breast cancers. A baseline/screening mammogram, is recommended between the ages of 35 and 40.
What to expect
You will want to refrain from wearing any deodorant , lotions or powders. These substances can alter the quality of the x-ray. You will be asked to wash these substances off prior to the exam if they are still detectible.
If you are taking hormone replacement medicine or oral contraceptives, please be sure to document this on your paperwork when you sign in for the exam. These drugs can affect the appearance of the breast tissue on the mammogram.
During the mammogram procedure, you will need to remove your clothes from the waist up, and asked to wear a gown. For this reason, you may want to wear loose clothing and a shirt that you can take off easily.
While you are in a standing position, a special x-ray machine will take two images of each breast. The breast must be compressed to view it accurately, which may cause some minor discomfort, but not significant pain. If you feel pain, you should inform your technologist immediately. If you are menstruating, you may want to schedule your mammogram appointment a week after your period ends when your breasts are not swollen or tender. If you have implants, make sure your make your technologist aware, because extra films will be needed in order to demonstrate all breast tissue.
After your mammogram is completed, a radiologist will examine the films and determine if there are breast abnormalities that need further evaluation.
Your physician will get your report within three to four days of your examination.
The patient is sent notification of their results in 8-10 business days. Results must be given to the patient by their physician.