October 13, 2022
So it’s time for your first-ever mammogram. Nervous? That’s perfectly natural. When you don’t know what to expect, anxiety can kick in. It’s not unusual to be nervous about getting a mammogram. In fact, fear is one of the most common reasons women put off the routine screening. The American College of Radiology and Society of Breast Imaging recommend that women of average risk start getting annual mammograms at age 40. Yet, a little over 66% of women in that age group report having done so in recent years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
There can be a plethora of reasons why you’re putting off your annual mammogram; maybe you’re worried it will be painful or awkward; maybe you’re worried about the potential cost; maybe you’re super busy and can’t find time; maybe you have no family history of breast cancer, or maybe you think you’re too young. Whatever your reasoning is, receiving your annual mammogram, even if you are of average risk, is an important prevention measure with the goal of catching any suspicious lumps or masses early.
PREPARING FOR YOUR MAMMOGRAM
- Try to avoid scheduling the week before and after your period
- If you have sensitive breasts, take Tylenol or Advil about an hour prior to your appointment
- Do not wear or be prepared to remove any jewelry
- You may want to wear an outfit in which you only have to remove your top versus wearing a dress or romper that would require you to fully undress. Regardless, the technologist will provide you with a gown.
- Bring your insurance information,
- Most insurance pays in full for yearly preventative care
- If you are going to a new facility for your mammogram, please be sure to have your previous results sent over, placed on a CD or bring the previous location information with you to your appointment, so radiologist can compare the current exam to all of the prior studies. Sometimes the most important finding on your mammogram is a subtle change over time, which cannot be detected without the benefit of the comparison. You might also avoid unnecessary additional views or biopsies if a finding is seen now, but can be shown to be unchanged over a long period of time.
- Relax as much as you can!
“Anxiety about the exam is a big contributing factor to women avoiding the exam. People tend to tense up because they’re nervous and therefore it may be a bit difficult to get you in the appropriate position and that can be more painful. I like for patients to get in there and be relaxed,” says Miranda Davis, ARRT(R)(M), mammogram technologist. “I do my best to walk them through it so they know what’s happening step by step to help alleviate those nerves.”
Patients who get screened in October get a free t-shirt in recognition of
Breast Cancer Awareness Month!
These screenings are your best bet for detecting breast cancer as early as possible. Doctors recommend all women aged 40 and above schedule one visit yearly. To make your appointment today, call (254) 248-6238. Coryell’s waiting period is usually less than 48 hours and the exam takes less than 20 minutes.