to Prepare for a Mammogram
2 out of every 1000 mammograms are positive. This exam should be a part
of a health conscious woman's life. A few simple steps can make the test
more comfortable and more accurate.
Level: easy Time Required: 15 minutes
- Do some
research -- knowing what to expect will make you more relaxed.
nervous about the procedure? Pay a visit to the center where your mammogram
will be done and speak to the professional staff.
- Do not
listen to tales from friends or co-workers. A mammogram should not be
a terrifying ordeal.
your appointment for a week after your period when your breasts are
- A vitamin
E supplement, 400 to 800 IU a day, for a few weeks before the exam seems
to ease the discomfort.
- Take a
non-aspirin pain reliever a hour before the mammogram and again afterwards
if you're feeling discomfort.
- On the
day of the mammogram, don't use antiperspirant or deodorant. Some of
the ingredients can interfere with the quality of the result.
use powders, skin creams, perfumes or any other chemicals that may give
false readings on the mammogram.
any kind of caffeine. Coffee, colas and other caffeine rich foods may
lead to engorged cysts and interfere with the reading.
- Wear a
two-piece outfit. That way you only need to take off your top.
- Do your
best to relax while the technician takes the x-ray. Tensing may cause
you to move and have to go through the whole thing again.
- Do not
expect bad news if the technicians won't tell you anything. It only
means that they are not trained to interpret the results.
an appointment with your doctor for a week to ten days after the exam.
That way you can be sure that the results will be available.
- If you
have had mammograms before, make sure the doctor has all of the films.
That way changes from one mammogram to the next can be seen.
- Be an
advocate for yourself. If the mammogram was a result of changes in your
breast and it comes out negative, ask for further tests.
is some debate, but the standard recommendation is that you get a mammogram
every two years after 40 and yearly after 50.
panic if you get a positive result. Cysts, calcium deposits and benign
fibroid tumors all show up on a mammogram.
also see related feature -> What's
this about mammograms?
DON'T You Get a Mammogram (Take Our Poll)
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