3 Things Not To Do Before Your First Mammogram

A mammogram is a type of x-ray that allows your physician to note changes within the tissues of your breasts. The procedure is generally used to detect cancerous tumors early so that treatments can be provided. It is wise to schedule a mammogram at least once every two years after your fiftieth birthday. If you have never had a mammogram, then it may be difficult to know what to expect. Your doctor will likely fill you in on some of the details. There are definitely some things you should not do before your mammogram though. Keep reading to find out about a few of these things.

Wear Creams, Lotions, and Powders

If you typically wear creams, lotions, and powders, then it is wise to keep these beauty products off your body. Many beauty products contain a variety of heavy metals like lead, mercury, aluminum, and titanium. Even sunscreen contains metal oxides and some deodorants do too. Unfortunately, dense materials like bone, metals, and tumors all appear white on an x-ray. If your metal containing lotion or powder covers your breasts, then white blotches may show up in a similar manner as they do if you have breast cancer. This can lead to a cancer scare or you will be asked to undergo another mammogram to see if the initial results were false.

You should forego the beauty products on the day of your mammogram, and you should also take a shower right before your appointment. This way, deodorant and creams applied the previous day can be removed.

Schedule Close to Your Period

When you receive a mammogram, your breasts will be squeezed between two plates. This helps to flatten the breast tissues so a much clearer x-ray image can be created. Typically, the compression occurs only for a few seconds, but it can feel uncomfortable. The compression may feel painful though if you schedule your mammogram during the wrong time of the month. Breasts often feel tender and painful both during and before your period. Sensitivity begins a week before your period as hormones cause the tissues to swell. Pain accompanies your period as hormones continue to fluctuate. This means you should schedule your mammogram the week after your period.

If you do need to schedule a mammogram close to your period, then consider cutting down on your caffeine intake for a few weeks before the test. Caffeine can contribute to breast pain. It is generally best to reduce caffeine consumption for several months to reduce breast pain, but a short term reduction can offer some assistance during your mammogram.

Make Arrangements Immediately After the Exam

In many cases, a technician will look at your x-ray images after your mammogram to make sure they are clear. If your doctor located a lump during a physical examination or if the imagery is concerning, then further tests may be required. These tests may be completed after your mammogram. Your doctor may or may not inform you of this beforehand. Typically, an examination called an ultrasound will be performed. A breast ultrasound will allow a technician to look at lumps more clearly so they can be diagnosed as cysts, tumors, or fatty tissue.

A breast ultrasound can take up to 30 minutes. Make sure to keep several hours free during the day so you have time for additional testing. Also, consider bringing a towel or some baby wipes with you. A thick gel must be placed on your breasts during the ultrasound and it can be difficult to remove with paper towels provided by the technician.

If you have your first mammogram scheduled or if you need to make an appointment soon to have your breasts checked, then make sure to avoid doing the three things above. This will ensure a much more comfortable and thorough examination. If you are looking for a facility to have your mammogram done, consider EVDI Medical Imaging.