What Is A Mammogram?

Maybe you’ve felt a change in your breasts. Maybe breast cancer runs in your family. Or maybe you’re over 40 and your doctor has recommended it. Either way, you’re curious as to what exactly happens at a mammogram appointment. If you’re nervous about a mammogram, it’s helpful to know what will happen so you can relax during the test.

In short, a mammogram is an x-ray of the breast. It allows tumors that are too small to be seen. It can detect cancer earlier than a self exam, and can find cancer in women that have no other noticeable symptoms.  A mammogram can be used as a regular screening tool to ensure continued health, or it can be used to diagnose a lump.

When you go for a mammogram, you will stand in front of a special x-ray machine. A technician will place your breasts, one at a time, between an x-ray plate and a plastic plate. These will compress to flatten the breasts, so a clearer picture can be taken. There is some pressure and discomfort. Women often say it feels like a pinch, but it only lasts for a few seconds. From there, you can follow up with a breast health clinic to get further diagnostics or a biopsy, if needed.

If you find a lump or any other suspicious change, it’s best to have it examined by a medical professional. If you don’t have insurance or can’t afford a mammogram, Maternal & Family Health Services may be able to help. Call 1.877.MAMMO.4.U today to see if you qualify for a free mammogram.