What to Expect at Your Mammogram
After age 40, a routine mammography is one of the most important things you can do for your health. A mammogram can find changes in the breast when a lump is too small for you or your doctor to feel. Some women put off getting a mammogram because they think it will be painful, harmful or costly. But this screening is safe, quick, effective, and covered by most insurance carriers. Not to mention, it could save your life.
How does it work?
You don’t need a referral to schedule your screening mammogram. At your mammogram appointment, you may find it helpful to ask your provider to explain what will happen before you start. In order to get a clear picture, the technician will gently compresses each breast with cushioned plates and takes your images. The mammogram lasts only a few minutes.
You will feel some pressure and perhaps some discomfort during the mammogram, but most women find the exam does not hurt. If you are still having periods, schedule your mammogram a few days after your period ends, when the breasts tend to be less sensitive.
At Fort HealthCare, we use the best available imaging technology referred to as “full-field digital mammography.” This offers greater power to detect subtle breast tissue changes ultimately enhancing the ability to detect breast cancer early.
What if there is a lump?
If a mammogram shows a lump, you will need further tests to find out if the lump is cancerous. Like most tests, mammograms are not perfect. In some cases, the mammogram may find something that is not cancer. But getting the screening is worth it. Mammograms can find cancer at an early stage, when treatment is more effective.
If you have an abnormal mammogram at Fort HealthCare, you will have your diagnostic mammogram images reviewed by the UW Health radiologist prior to leaving your appointment.
Offering evening hours on weekdays for your convenience. Call (920) 568-5420