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Preparing for your First Mammogram

Going in for your first mammogram can be a stressful and scary time. However, mammography is an important detection tool and can help find problems earlier than with a self-exam. Health experts have different opinions regarding screening frequency.

The American Cancer Society suggests that women ages 40 to 44 should have the choice to start annual breast cancer screening with mammograms (x-rays of the breast) if they wish to do so. Women age 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year. Women 55 and older should switch to mammograms every 2 years, or can continue yearly screening.

Women should talk with their physicians to determine the appropriate time to begin getting mammograms, based off of individual risk factors.

What to know beforehand:

  • Schedule your mammogram for when your breasts are not tender or swollen. This will reduce discomfort and allow for better pictures.
  • On exam day, do not wear deodorant or antiperspirant which may show up on the x-ray as white spots.

What to expect during the screening:

  • You will be undressed from the waist up.
  • During your exam, your breasts will be flattened by the machine.
  • The whole test will take approximately 20 minutes.
  • It is normal to feel discomfort, but if you feel pain tell the radiologists.

Breast Screening at Touro:

Touro offers comprehensive women’s imaging care at the Women’s Imaging Center on Napoleon Avenue. Our team members excel at offering a positive and comfortable experience for first time and experienced patients.

Need to schedule your mammogram? Please give us a call at 504-897-8600 or click here to visit Touro Women’s Imaging online.