How to Prepare for Your Annual Mammogram

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A mammogram is a form X-ray that passes low doses of radiation throughout the breast tissue in Columbus, OH. This is how our team can detect any growths before they are large enough to be found during a monthly self-breast exam. At Professionals for Women’s Health, we use this testing to find growths that can be hard to find deep in the breast tissue. The earlier that they are found, the easier they are to treat. This is an integral part of preventive testing for women’s health.

What is a mammogram?

We perform two types of mammograms at our Columbus, OH office, including:

  • Screening: As a screening tool, it is performed when a patient may have no signs at all of a problem.

  • Diagnostic: A diagnostic mammogram is ordered when the provider detects a problem and wants a closer view.

Who should have a mammogram?

At Professionals for Women’s Health, we recommend having a baseline screening mammogram once between the ages of 35 – 39. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend all women 40 and over should have a mammogram annually. All women need one regardless of the size of their breasts, whether or not they have breast implants, or if they have had a breast reduction.

We may recommend a mammogram earlier if you have certain risk factors. These risk factors include:

  • A family member who has had breast cancer (sister, mother, or daughter)

  • You have had breast cancer or any other cancer before

  • You haven’t had children.

  • You experienced early menstruation

  • You are experiencing late onset of menopause

What symptoms signal the need for a mammogram?

We may order a diagnostic mammogram if a patient is experiencing any of these symptoms:

  • Unexplained growth or thickening in the breast or armpit

  • Dimpling of the skin on the breast

  • Abnormal discharge

  • A recent change in how the nipple or skin on the breast looks

What is the MammoPad®?

At Professionals for Women’s Health, we give our patients the options of the MammoPad, which is a single-use breast cushion that offers a soft and warm protective surface between the breast and the mammography machine. This significantly increases the comfort of your test at our Columbus, OH office. It is FDA approved, and our patients report nearly a 50% reduction of discomfort during their mammogram.

Mammogram prep tips

Before your mammogram, we will provide you some tips to have a comfortable visit, including:

  1. Wear a comfortable two-piece outfit.

  2. Have your hair pulled back away from your face, and refrain from wearing earrings.

  3. Avoid wearing any type of lotion, deodorant, or powder on your breast or under your arm.

  4. Take an over-the-counter pain reliever before your appointment to reduce your discomfort. This is especially true for patients with breast tenderness.

  5. Stop drinking caffeinated beverages and eating chocolate up to seven days before your appointment, as studies suggest that both can lead to increased discomfort.

  6. Bring any previous mammogram films with you to your appointment if they were done at another facility. This will help to avoid any diagnosis delays.

Mammogram FAQs

Some of the most frequently asked questions regarding a mammogram include:

  1. Can I eat before a mammogram? There’s no need to fast before your mammogram. You can drink, eat, and take medication as usual.

  2. How long does a mammogram take? This depends on the type of mammogram you’re having. A 2-D mammogram takes about 15 minutes, while a 3-D one can take up to 30 minutes.

  3. Can a mammogram cause bruising? It is normal to have some bruising after a mammogram. However, any tenderness or discomfort should subside in a day or two. If you’re still experiencing pain after this, contact our office.

Schedule a mammogram near me for preventive health

At Professionals for Women’s Health, we offer screening mammograms at our Columbus, OH, office. We recommend scheduling your mammogram a week after your period to reduce breast tenderness and inflammation. To schedule your appointment for a mammogram, please call our professional team today.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.