What is Mammography?
Mammography is a form of x-ray. The procedure involves passing low doses of radiation through the breast tissue. This method is a good way to detect growths before they are large enough to be detected during your self-breast exam. Many growths are hard to palpate because they may be deep in the breast tissue. Fortunately, the expert team at Professionals for Women's Health in Columbus, OH, are highly trained in using mammograms to identify even the earliest signs of breast cancer. The early growths are found, the easier they are to treat. This test may be ordered as a screening tool or if a growth was found during a physical exam.
"This is the most wonderful place! Everyone is friendly and professional. I see Lindsay Randolph who is awesome and always make sure I get the best gyno care. I have to give a special shout out to Cathie who did my mammogram this last visit. This was year 11 for mammograms for me, and I always dread it because it is usually extremely uncomfortable and a bit painful. This time was completely painless. I don't know how she does it, but I will never schedule these with anyone else! I recommend anyone looking for new services for women's health absolutely visit Professionals for Women's Health."- W.S. / Google / Nov 07, 2020
What Are the Benefits of Mammograms?
A mammogram is the most effective way to detect the early development of breast cancer, which makes it an irreplaceable tool for Columbus, OH women who may not suspect that they have a cancerous growth in the breasts. Benefits of mammograms at Professionals For Women’s Health include:
- Early detection of breast cancer, including finding lumps years before they can be felt
- Helps provide potentially life-saving care
- The examination is fast and is not typically painful
- Our practice specializes in treating women like you
Should I have a mammogram?
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend women ages 40 and over should have a mammogram every year. All women need to have a mammogram regardless of the size of their breasts, whether or not they have implants, or whether or not they have had a breast reduction. Your provider may recommend a mammogram earlier if you have certain risk factors. These risk factors include patients who have:
- A sister, mother, or daughter who has had breast cancer
- Had breast cancer before
- Never had children
- Experienced early menstruation
- Late-onset menopause
- An unexplained growth or thickening area in breast or armpit tissue
- Dimpling of the skin on the breast
- Any type of abnormal discharge from the breast
- A recent change in the characteristics of the nipple or skin on the breast
How is a Mammogram performed?
Before you schedule your mammogram, there are just a few things you should know:
- Your insurance company will only allow a screening mammogram once a year. Medicare only allows one every two years.
- If you have implants, please inform us when scheduling your appointment.
- If you have a lump or breast problem, please schedule a visit with your provider instead of a mammogram.
- Plan to wear a two-piece outfit. Have your hair pulled back away from your face in order to avoid hair artifacts on the film. Additionally, be prepared to remove any hanging earrings.
- Avoid deodorant, lotions, and powders under the arm and on the breasts prior to your mammogram.
- You can reduce your risk of experiencing pain during the mammogram by taking an ibuprofen or acetaminophen tablet two hours before your appointment.
- You should eliminate or considerably reduce your intake of caffeinated beverages and chocolate 5 – 7 days before your scheduled appointment.
- Be prepared to bring any previous mammogram results to your appointment if they were performed at a different facility. If this is not possible, it is imperative that you at least have the name, address, and phone number of the prior facility, so that we can have them sent to us.
Once you have your appointment scheduled, you'll visit our office in Columbus, OH, for your mammogram. During the appointment, your breast will be placed between two plates that are connected to an x-ray. This compression of the breast morphs the breast into thinner layers of tissue, allowing the x-ray to get a more accurate screening.
There are two types of mammograms: screening and diagnostic. A screening mammogram is performed to detect a problem early on, even when the patient has no signs of an issue. This is able to detect lumps or tumors that cannot be felt, as well as small deposits of calcium, which can be a sign of breast cancer. A diagnostic mammogram, on the other hand, is ordered when the provider detects a problem, such as a lump or other symptom of breast cancer. This type of mammogram will take longer than a screening mammogram as more x-rays must be performed in order to identify any problems.
What Should I Expect After A Mammogram?
After undergoing a mammogram at our Columbus, OH office, there are a few things you can expect. Some women may experience slight discomfort or tenderness right after the test, but this is completely normal and usually subsides quickly. A cold pack might help if there's any minor swelling or pain. Typically, results from the mammogram are available within a week or two. A trained radiologist will meticulously analyze the images, keeping an eye out for any abnormalities or unusual changes in the breast tissue. If you're called back for additional testing, it's essential not to panic. Often, this just means our team needs a more precise image or wants to examine a specific area in greater detail. Notably, more than 9 out of 10 mammogram findings are benign, meaning they don't indicate cancer. However, further investigations like an ultrasound or biopsy might be suggested in cases where any suspicious areas are noted. If your results are routine, you'll be given guidance on when your next mammogram should be.
What is the MammoPad?
PWH offers patients the option of the MammoPad®, a single-use breast cushion as a soft, warm protective surface between your breast and the mammography machine. This will significantly increase the comfort of your routine screening mammogram.
The MammoPad® has been approved by the FDA, and three out of four women report a reduction in discomfort by 50%. There is a $10.00 fee for the Mammopad®, paid at the time of service. Insurance does not cover this product. You can learn more about the MammoPad® at www.mammopad.com.
Does a mammogram hurt?
Mammograms do not typically hurt, but you may feel some discomfort when your breast is compressed during the exam. Some women say it feels like having an elbow pressed into their breast. If you are concerned about pain, ask a member of our team about conducting your mammogram with a MammoPad. We strive to make your experience as comfortable as possible.
How long does a mammogram take?
The mammogram itself should not take too long, but you will need to factor in time for checking in, changing into a gown, and waiting for the mammogram results. Professionals for Women's Health recommends that you plan for at least an hour when scheduling your mammogram appointment. Our team will work to minimize wait times so you can get back to your day as soon as possible.
What if an abnormality is found?
If something is found during a mammogram appointment, you will likely be called back for more testing. This does not necessarily mean that you have breast cancer, but further evaluation is needed. Our trained staff in Columbus, OH, will work with you to determine the best course of action. You may need additional imaging services to get a better view of the abnormality.
At what age should I start getting mammograms?
The recommended age to start getting regular mammograms can vary depending on individual risk factors and guidelines from different medical organizations. Generally, women with average risk should start mammography at age 40 and continue annually.
Can I get a mammogram if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
Special considerations may be necessary if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. It's important to inform our team at Professionals for Women's Health about your pregnancy or breastfeeding status so that appropriate precautions can be taken.
Do mammograms prevent breast cancer?
Mammograms do not prevent breast cancer, but they are a vital tool for early detection, which can lead to more effective treatment and better outcomes.
Identify Signs of Breast Cancer
When diagnosed early, breast cancer is much more likely to be successfully treated. While mammograms can make some women uncomfortable, they are very necessary for ensuring the continued health of your overall health. Contact Professionals for Women's Health today to schedule your mammogram at our office in Columbus, OH.
How Mammograms Play a Vital Role in Early Breast Cancer Detection
Mammograms in Columbus, OH, provide early breast cancer detection, patient comfort, and state-of-the-art care for optimal health outcomes.Read
What Does Breast Cancer Look Like on a Mammogram?
Discover how breast cancer appears on a mammogram, find answers to common questions, and learn the timeframe for getting mammogram results.Read
What to Know Before Getting a Mammogram
Prepare for your upcoming mammogram with this information on what to expect during the screening and what you may need to do ahead of time.Read
Three Ways Women Can Prepare for a Mammogram
Learn the three top ways to prepare for a mammogram, so you are comfortable and the machine achieves clear images.Read