Myth #: I Had A Normal Mammogram Last Year So I Dont Need Another One This Year
Fact: Mammography is detection, not prevention. Having a normal mammogram is great news, but it does not guarantee that future mammograms will be normal, says Dr. Zeb. “Having a mammogram every year increases the chance of detecting the cancer when it is small and when it is most easily treated which also improves survival.”
How Are Healthcare Providers Going Above And Beyond To Keep Patients Safe During Mammograms
Dr. Dean emphasizes that its very safe to get a mammogram right now.
Many changes have been made in our workspaces to facilitate physical distancing. This includes spacing out appointment times to limit crowding in waiting rooms, separation of seating in waiting rooms, increased cleaning and sanitizing practices, health and temperature screenings for every patient and employee and of course, universal masking.
Who Performs My Mammogram
Mammograms are done by licensed, board-certified technologists called mammographers. Mammographers are specially trained to perform and review breast images of the highest quality with the least amount of radiation exposure. Johns Hopkins mammographers are subspecialized and only conduct breast exams.
Ginger Hill wants patients to know that as a mammographer, I am here to work with you to make this experience as comfortable as possible, to obtain a quality mammogram and ensure your breast health is taken care of.
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When Should I Get A Mammogram
There are 2 types of mammograms: screening mammograms and diagnostic mammograms. Screening mammograms are ones you get as part of a regular checkup if youve had no symptoms. They let your doctor see whats normal for your breasts and if there are any changes since your last mammogram.
Mammogram guidelines vary. Most people with breasts should get screening mammograms every 1-2 years starting at age 40. You may need get one before you turn 40 if someone in your family had breast cancer at a young age, or if you have cysts in your breasts, which can hide the symptoms of breast cancer.
Diagnostic mammograms focus on potential breast problem areas. Your doctor might recommend a diagnostic mammogram after discovering a lump during a clinical breast exam or after an abnormal screening mammogram.
Mammograms Answers To Your Questions
When waiting to get your first mammogram, you have lots of questions that you would like to have answers to right away:
- What is it really?
- Is it painful?
- Will the results be available quickly?
Regardless of your level of experience in the matter, here are a few answers that you will find useful during your preparation for your next mammogram.
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Can I Get A Mammogram
Getting a yearly screening mammogram is one of the most important things a woman over the age of 40 can do for her health. Despite their importance, there are all sorts of misconceptions and misinformation regarding mammograms that make it difficult to know when’s the right time to schedule your screening. Dr. Ermelinda Bonaccio, Clinical Chief of Breast Imaging at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, sat down to answer some commonly asked questions and clear up popular misconceptions.
What Happens After Your Mammogram
After the mammogram, your doctor will receive a report. He or she will review and report their findings back to you. If your breast radiologist sees something out of the ordinary on your mammogram, you may need a second visit for additional mammogram pictures. However, this is not necessarily cause for concern. The images may be unclear, or you may have a harmless cyst or some dense breast tissue.If your doctor does happen to discover something abnormal on your mammogram, it doesnt automatically mean its cancer. It could be something harmless, such as a cyst in your breast or simple tissue overlap. Thats why we check. We can review your mammography results over time, comparing them to look for any changes, says Dr. Policare.
Whatever you do, dont skip your annual mammogram. It just might save your life!
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How Will I Get My Mammogram Results
A full report of the results of your mammogram will be sent to your health care provider. If you dont hear from your health care provider within 10 days, do not assume that your mammogram was normal. Call your provider or the facility where the mammogram was done.
The mammography facility also must provide you with an easy-to-understand summary of your mammogram results within 30 daysor as quickly as possible if the results suggest something abnormal is present. If you have online access to your medical records, such as through a patient portal, your results might show up there at the same time your health care provider gets them. This means you could get the results before your health care provider contacts you. Be sure to go over the results with your provider, especially if there’s anything you don’t understand.
Tell The Scheduler About Your Needs
If youre prone to pain, communicate with the appointment scheduler, and theyll likely arrange ways to make your exam more comfortable. Often, schedulers will dedicate more time to your appointment, allowing your technologist to take extra measures and ensure your comfort.
Women battling chronic pain are particularly prone to experiencing discomfort during mammograms. Ask the scheduler if they have a technologist equipped with the skills to treat people with chronic pain or a technologist who struggles with chronic pain and can sympathize with your needs.
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Menstrual Cycle May Influence Mammogram Accuracy
ByRachael Rettnerpublished 10 December 10
Women who undergo regular mammograms may want to consider scheduling their screening for the first week of their menstrual cycle, according to a new study.
The breast tissue may be less dense during this week, so mammograms conducted at this time may be more accurate for some women, the researchers said.
Mammograms are known to be less accurate in younger women, in general, than in older women, and one reason for this might be that younger women have denser breast tissue, which makes tumors harder to spot.
However, before the new research, very few studies had looked at the impact of breast density on the sensitivity of mammogram results, and some had suggested the density varies too little over the course of a woman’s menstrual cycle to have any impact, said study researcher Dr. Diana Miglioretti, a senior investigator at Group Health Research Institute in Seattle.
Miglioretti and her colleagues examined mammogram results from 387,218 pre-menopausal women, most of whom were in their 40s. Of those, 1,283 mammograms revealed breast cancer.
They found that, among women who’d had a mammogram within the last two years, mammograms were more sensitive at detecting breast cancer if a women was in the first week of her menstrual cycle.
The rate of mammograms turning up false positives meaning a mammogram seems to reveal cancer that is actually not present was not affected by the phase of a woman’s menstrual cycle.
Important Things To Know About Mammograms
- They can save your life. Finding breast cancer early reduces your risk of dying from the disease by 25-30% or more. Women should begin having mammograms yearly at age 40, or earlier if they’re at high risk.
- Don’t be afraid. Mammography is a fast procedure , and discomfort is minimal for most women. The procedure is safe: there’s only a very tiny amount of radiation exposure from a mammogram. To relieve the anxiety of waiting for results, go to a center that will give you results before you leave.
- Get the best quality you can. If you have dense breasts or are under age 50, try to get a digital mammogram. A digital mammogram is recorded onto a computer so that doctors can enlarge certain sections to look at them more closely.
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Myth #: If I Have Any Type Of Cancer In My Breast Tissue A Screening Mammogram Is Guaranteed To Find It
Fact: While annual mammograms are very important for women, there are limitations, says Dr. Zeb. This is mostly due to dense breast tissue the denser the breast, the more likely it is that a cancer will be hidden by the tissue. Normal breast tissue can both hide a cancer and mimic a cancer, says Dr. Zeb. In addition to an annual mammogram other imaging methods including a breast ultrasound and a breast MRI can be used for women with dense breast tissue.
Schedule An Appointment With A Technologist You Like
If youre returning to an imaging location youve visited before, request a trusted technologist who delivers care suited to your needs. Know that you may experience varied pain levels every appointment, but some technologists have more experience working with pain-prone patients and can deliver more consistent comfort. At Health Images you can be assured that all our experienced technologists take pride in delivering compassionate care.
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Is It Ok To Get A Mammogram During Your Period
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Women who undergo regular mammograms may want to consider scheduling their screening for the first week of their menstrual cycle, according to a new study. The breast tissue may be less dense during this week, so mammograms conducted at this time may be more accurate for some women, the researchers said.
Beside above, are breasts more dense during period? The researchers found that as the menstrual cycle progresses, breast tissue becomes less fatty and more fibrous and dense , most likely due to fluctuations in reproductive hormones.
Also to know, do mammograms increase your risk of breast cancer?
Women with large breasts who undergo repeated screening mammography may be at higher risk for radiation-induced breast cancer and breast cancer death, according to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Can you get injured from a mammogram?
Medical evidence at the trial suggested that compression from a mammogram – up to 35.5 pounds – could cause the injury. Court heard that it is common for bruising to occur after the procedure. Power concluded on the balance of probability that it was possible for the mammogram machine to cause McKerr’s injuries.
What Not To Do Before a Mammogram
Things You Need To Know About Mammograms
Considering a mammogram? Want to know what theyre all about? Or, just wondering what the big deal is anyways? Heres what you need to know!
Whats the big idea?
I think I know what a mammogram is, but Im not 100% sure
Long story short: a mammogram is an x-ray of the breast. The goal of this kind of screening is to get a closer look at the breast to see if their are any tumours cancerous or non-cancerous . During mammography, you stand in front of the machine while your breast is put between 2 plates. They are usually plastic and theyre called compression plates. These plates help help flatten the breast so that less radiation is used and more of the breast tissues can be seen .
There are two types of mammography that are usually performed:
This is a regular scan done to look for breast cancer in a woman who is showing no signs of breast cancer but meet the screening guidelines in their province OR meet the criteria for being high risk for breast cancer.
This is done to get a closer look at a breast problem that has been reported, like a lump found during self-examination.
How old do I have to be?
Ive never had a mammogram done before. When should I start?
The idea of getting a mammogram or having to get one can be intimidating. After all, youre checking to make sure you dont have cancer. So its natural to have a lot of questions about when you should be getting your first mammogram and how often.
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When Can You Expect Your Results
How long it takes to get your results may depend on whether youre having a screening or diagnostic mammogram. You can usually expect the results of a screening mammogram within two weeks. If youre having a mammogram as a follow-up test, you may get the results before you leave the appointment.
You can ask your doctor or your technologist how long it will take to get results, then keep an eye out for them. If you dont get your results within 2 weeks, be sure to follow up by contacting your doctor or the mammography center.
What Exactly Are Doctors Doing To Keep Patients Safe During Mammograms
It’s important to note that mammograms can be done at a few different places, including radiology or imaging centers, mammography clinics, and even some physicians’ offices, according to the Susan G. Komen organization’s websiteand those places are taking every precaution they can to reduce the risk of catching COVID-19 for both patients and staff.
In general, I think it’s perfectly safe to come to a facility like Mount Sinai where we’re really taking a lot of measures to make sure that the facility is clean and safe, Dr. Cate says. She adds that the hospital’s cancer center isnt close to parts of the hospital where COVID-19 patients are treated, and every patient who walks through the door is pre-screened with questions about whether they or someone in their household have been feeling sick within the last two weeks. Patients are also temperature screened before they come inside the office, to ensure no one has a fever. And as with other doctors offices, patients who come in without a mask are given one at the door, and hand sanitizer is set up at the doorway so they can sanitize their hands when they walk in.
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What Should I Wear To A Mammogram
What you wear to a mammogram wont affect the procedure or test results. However, youll need to remove any clothing from the waist up, so you may be more comfortable if you avoid one-piece outfits like dresses and jumpsuits. Wearing a shirt with pants or a skirt ensures youll only have to remove your top and bra for the test. You should also avoid wearing any jewelry like a necklace, since youll have to take it off anyway.
Does It Hurt To Get A Mammogram
Some people find getting mammograms uncomfortable others less so. While the X-ray is being taken, you may feel some pressure from the two plates, but any discomfort should only last a few seconds. If youre still having your period, it may be more comfortable to make your appointment for just after your period when your breasts are least tender.
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