Image of woman getting mammogram.An annual screening mammogram is an important part of good breast health. It’s helpful to have a basic understanding of the procedure so that the experience goes more smoothly for you.

Preparing for Your Mammogram

Try to use a facility that specializes in mammograms and go to the same place every year so it’s easier to compare results. Don’t schedule a mammogram when your breasts are tender or swollen, for example, during the week before your period. Skip the deodorant or antiperspirant before your mammogram because it can show up on the image as white spots. Wear a skirt or pants with a top that can be easily removed.

Share Your Health History Before Your Mammogram

Be sure to tell the technologist doing the mammogram if you’ve had any breast changes or problems. Share any medical history that could affect your breast cancer risk, such as prior surgery, hormone use, or any history of breast cancer in your family.

How a Mammogram Image is Taken

The technologist will position your breasts to get the best quality image. Two views of each breast are taken but more pictures may be needed for women with breast implants or large breasts. A plastic upper plate is lowered to compress your breast for a few seconds with each image. For some women this can be painful, so tell the technologist if it hurts.

Diagnostic Mammogram Versus Screening Mammogram

A diagnostic mammogram is often done if a woman has breast symptoms or if a change is seen on a screening mammogram. More pictures may be taken to look closely at any area of concern. Special images known as spot views or magnification views are used in a diagnostic mammogram to make a small area of concern easier to see.

Getting Your Mammogram Results

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. Mammography clinics must mail women an easy-to-understand summary of their mammogram results within 30 days, or “as quickly as possible” if the results suggest cancer is present. 

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