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    How to Prepare for a Mammogram

    Only 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.

    Difficulty Level: easy      Time Required: 15 minutes

      Here's How:

    1. Do some research -- knowing what to expect will make you more relaxed.
    2. Still nervous about the procedure? Pay a visit to the center where your mammogram will be done and speak to the professional staff.
    3. Do not listen to tales from friends or co-workers. A mammogram should not be a terrifying ordeal.
    4. Schedule your appointment for a week after your period when your breasts are less tender.
    5. A vitamin E supplement, 400 to 800 IU a day, for a few weeks before the exam seems to ease the discomfort.
    6. Take a non-aspirin pain reliever a hour before the mammogram and again afterwards if you're feeling discomfort.
    7. On the day of the mammogram, don't use antiperspirant or deodorant. Some of the ingredients can interfere with the quality of the result.
    8. Don't use powders, skin creams, perfumes or any other chemicals that may give false readings on the mammogram.
    9. Avoid any kind of caffeine. Coffee, colas and other caffeine rich foods may lead to engorged cysts and interfere with the reading.
    10. Wear a two-piece outfit. That way you only need to take off your top.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. Schedule 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.
    14. 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.
    1. 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.
    2. There is some debate, but the standard recommendation is that you get a mammogram every two years after 40 and yearly after 50.
    3. Don't 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?

    Why DON'T You Get a Mammogram (Take Our Poll)

    Mammograms Rise - Law Suits Follow

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