Screening mammograms help detect breast cancer in the early stages
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, one in eight women in the United States will develop breast cancer by age 75. Screening mammograms assist with early breast cancer detection, which can save lives.
We offer different types of screening mammograms at our office
To assist with early breast cancer detection, we offer different types of in office screening mammograms at Athens ObGyn.
- Conventional 2D mammography involves a machine that uses a low-dose x-ray system to create two-dimensional images of the breast.
- 3D mammography provides multiple, three-dimensional images of breast tissue. 3D technology is especially beneficial for women with dense breast tissue. It is more difficult to detect cancer in dense breasts, so having multiple 3D images is particularly helpful.
What to expect from the mammography procedure
2D and 3D screening mammograms feel the same to patients. During the procedure, the woman stands in front of a machine. The technologist then places her breast on a clear, plastic plate.
Before the x-ray, the technologist lowers another clear plate to compress the breast tissue, flattening the breast. Some women find this uncomfortable, while others simply feel pressure. Each picture only takes a few seconds though. The technologist repeats the procedure until she obtains the amount and type of images needed.
There are some things that women can do to make mammograms more comfortable.
- A woman should schedule mammograms when she does not have tender breasts, which usually means avoiding the week before or during her period.
- Some women take acetaminophen, such as Tylenol, before the procedure.
- Wearing a top with pants or a skirt can make things easier the day of the test since women must undress from the waist up for the mammogram.
It’s also important for women not to wear deodorant, powder or perfume on the day of the mammogram. These items show up on the mammogram as white spots and can skew the results.
Our expert doctors encourage preventive care and screenings
Preventive care helps women stay healthy. We encourage women to schedule their annual well-woman exam and screening mammograms to assist with early breast cancer detection. Patients should discuss breast cancer screening guidelines with our doctors to determine when and how often to schedule a mammogram. For more information, contact us.