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woman getting a mammogramGetting your first mammogram is an important step for breast health. Maybe you've avoided it because of fears about pain or not knowing what to expect, but a basic understanding of the procedure and a few simple preparations can make getting a mammogram less scary.

Start with proper scheduling. Don’t have a mammogram when your breasts are tender or swollen, so avoid the week just before your period. On the day of the exam, wear a skirt or pants and a top that can be easily removed and don’t use deodorant or antiperspirant because it can show up on the image as white spots.

Tell the technologist doing the mammogram about any breast changes or problems you’re having. Include any medical history that could affect your breast cancer risk, such as surgery, hormone use, or breast cancer in your family.

During the exam, the technologist will position your breasts to get the best quality image. A plastic upper plate is lowered to compress your breast while the technologist takes an image. You might feel some momentary discomfort and for some women it can be painful, so tell the technologist if it hurts.

Two views are taken for a typical screening mammogram but more pictures may be needed for women with breast implants or large breasts. The entire exam takes about 20 minutes but breast compression is just a few seconds.

Finally, if you don’t hear from your health care provider with the results of your mammogram within 10 days, don’t assume that it was normal. Call your provider or the facility where the mammogram was done.

Northline Women's Health Center Locations:

15675 Northline Road

Southgate, MI 48195

(734) 282-3600
(734) 282-3603 - Fax

23050 West Road, Suite 210

Brownstown Twp., MI 48183

(734) 362-7000
(734) 362-7077 - Fax