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HEALTHIER YOU: What is a mammogram?

November 4, 2018 by  
Filed under Health

What is a mammogram?



A mammogram is an X-ray picture of the breast that is used by doctors to look for early signs of breast cancer. It is performed at an imaging center, where you stand in front of a special X-ray machine and a technologist places your breast on a clear plastic plate. Another plate firmly presses your breast from above.

The plates will flatten the breast — holding it still while the X-ray is taken. You will feel some pressure. The steps are repeated to make a side view of the breast. The other breast will be X-rayed in the same way.

You will wait while the technologist checks to make certain the pictures do not need to be re-done. Keep in mind that the technologist cannot tell you the results of your mammogram. Each woman’s mammogram may look a little different, because all breasts are a little different.

Having a mammogram is uncomfortable for most women; some find it painful. A mammogram takes only a few moments, though — and the discomfort is over soon.

What you feel often depends on the skill of the technologist, the size of your breasts, and how much they need to be pressed. Your breasts may be more sensitive if you are about to get or have your period. A doctor with special training, called a radiologist, will read the mammogram. He or she will look at the X-ray for early signs of breast cancer or other issues.

Tips for getting a mammogram:

  • Try not to have your mammogram the week before you get your period or during your period — your breasts may be tender or swollen.
  • On the day of your mammogram, don’t wear deodorant, perfume, or powder. These products can show up as white spots on the X-ray.
  • Some women prefer to wear a top with a skirt or pants, instead of a dress. You will need to undress from your waist up for the mammogram.

For additional information, contact the Las Vegas All Women’s Care Offices at (702)522-9640. Or visit us at 700 Shadow Lane No. 165 (1st floor) in Las Vegas.

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