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What Happens During A Mammogram?

Apr 20, 2022

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What Happens During A Mammogram?

If you or someone you know is suspected of having breast cancer, they will have to undergo a mammogram. To learn more about mammograms, continue reading this article. Throughout the article we will discuss what a mammogram is, as well as the purpose of a mammogram. We will also discuss what to expect during a mammogram examination, what to expect once the examination is completed, and what doctors will look for in your results.

Let us begin our discussion by defining what a mammogram is and discovering the purpose of a mammogram. A mammogram is a type of x-ray that is conducted on the breast. This x-ray is used to diagnose breast cancer in women who have shown signs or symptoms of the disease. For those who have fear of radiation, mammograms are completely safe and use extremely low doses of radiation that cannot lead to any harm.

What should you expect if you are having a mammogram conducted?

Upon entering the room, you will be asked to undress above the waist and you will be given a hospital top to wear. Once you are dressed and ready to begin, your technologist will position your breasts. During the mammogram, your breasts will be placed between 2 plates. These plates are designed to help spread the tissue of your breasts so that they can be more easily examined. Once your breasts are placed between the plates, they will be gently flattened. While this can be slightly uncomfortable, the compression only lasts for a few seconds.

The entire procedure is very quick, and should take no more than 20 minutes. Once the procedure is completed, a black and white x-ray will be produced for your health care professional to examine in further detail.

What will your health care professional look for in your mammogram results?

When examining your results, doctors will look for two types of changes, calcifications and masses. A calcification is a tiny mineral deposit that will appear as small white spots on your x-ray film.

If these are present, they may or may not be cancerous. A mass can be a variety of different things including a cyst, a non-cancerous tumor, or cancer. If a mass is found within your results, further tests will be conducted to determine whether or not it is cancerous.

If you have been instructed by your doctor to have a mammogram completed, do not panic – very few mammogram results lead to a diagnosis of breast cancer.   Regardless of age, every woman should be engaging in yearly breast examinations (conducted by a health care professional). Engaging in regular breast check ups will ensure that, if you ever were to develop breast cancer, it would be caught during its earliest stages. If you have not done it already, book an appointment with your doctor now.

When it comes to breast cancer, it is better to be safe than sorry!