When visiting your primary care physician for your annual physical, your doctor may recommend a mammogram. If you’re unfamiliar with this type of screening and what to expect from the process, here’s what you need to know.
What Is a Mammogram?
A mammogram is a special X-ray taken of your breasts. The purpose of this screening is to determine whether you have any lumps or abnormal tissue that indicate cancer. The images taken through this screening method can detect cancer early on, and, in turn, increase your chances of effective treatment.
Who Should Get This Type of Cancer Screening?
According to the American Cancer Society, women should begin getting annual mammograms at the age of 40. Women who are deemed high-risk for breast cancer due to their family history and genetics might be encouraged by their doctor to start these cancer screenings at age 30.
Starting at age 54, women should schedule mammograms every other year. Any individual who feels a lump in their breast or notices any visual changes, including discoloration or changes in the nipple, should also schedule this screening.
What Can You Expect During Your Mammogram?
Since mammograms involve X-rays, inform your doctor if you are pregnant, as there the low levels of radiation you may be exposed to. Before your appointment, refrain from putting on any powders, lotions, perfumes, creams, or deodorant, as these products can interfere with the images rendered.
To screen your breasts, you’ll need to remove your clothing above the waist, and you may be provided with a hospital gown for modesty. The screening itself is painless and should only take about 20 minutes. Your technician will guide you, telling you where to stand and how to position your body to get a clear scan of both breasts.
Has your primary care physician recommended a mammogram? If so, Main Street Radiology, a facility accredited by the American College of Radiology®, will provide a breast cancer screening in a safe and welcoming environment. With three locations and 50 years of experience, residents throughout Queens, NY, depend on their team of 32 board-certified radiologists for excellent care. To schedule an appointment, call (718) 428-1500. For more information on the screenings and services they provide, visit their website.