We understand that to remain proactive about our health we should have regular screenings. Colon cancer screenings like colonoscopies, mammograms, blood tests, and skin cancer screenings are all valuable ways to prevent serious disease or catch it while it is still treatable. When we reach a certain age, a DEXA scan can do the same. Let’s discover what a DEXA bone scan tells you about your bone health.
Osteoporosis affects more than one in four women over the age of 65 and symptoms are virtually non-existent, with a person not being affected by it until they break a bone. Avoid broken bones due to osteoporosis with these 4 healthy habits that you can start right away.
Talk to twenty women who have had more than one mammogram in their life, and you will get several different answers to the question: “Is a mammogram painful?”
Uncomfortable and scary may be a common answer. A few might say painful, but it only lasted a few seconds. Others may say it was no big deal.
Anxiety about the test, your personal pain threshold, and the technician all play a huge part in a woman’s perspective relative to their mammogram
Let’s discover a few tips to reduce any discomfort during a mammogram, and review why a mammogram should be an essential part of a woman’s health in gainesville, flValue Of Mammograms
Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting women, so early diagnosis is crucial. A mammogram takes about 20 minutes from start to finish to:
- Identify cancer
- Compare any changes in breast tissue from past mammograms
The latest recommendations say that women 40-44 have the option of having the exam. From 45-54 it should be done annually, and women 55-74 every two years. Any woman with a high risk, like family history, should begin at 25.
There is no reason to be frightened of the exam. The value of early detection far outweighs a few minutes of angst.
Factors That Might Cause Discomfort During A Mammogram
A mammogram uses low dose x-rays to take a picture of breast tissue. During the exam each breast is placed between two plates. They help keep the breast in place, and the compression gives the technician a clear image. Normally two pictures are taken of each breast at different angles, although more may be prescribed.
The technician plays a huge part in your comfort vs discomfort, both physically and emotionally. You are in control, so communicate with the tech if you are experiencing any real pain or are anxious. A sensitive technician will walk you through the process regardless if it is your very first mammogram or your tenth.
Larger breasts can be more difficult to get into position and this may cause some discomfort.
In addition, breasts can be tender if the exam is performed prior to a woman’s period, and cysts can cause some pain during compression.
Steps To Reduce Any Discomfort
Anxiety can play a role in how much discomfort a woman experiences during a mammogram. The first step is to relax as much as possible. Some other tips include:
- Schedule the mammogram about a week after a period when there should be little to no tenderness.
- Avoid or reduce caffeine drinks prior to the test.
- Bring a friend or relative with you. They can be there just for support, or to have an exam at the same time.
- Take an anti-inflammatory medication like Advil or Aleve prior to the test.
- Delay the exam if you are breastfeeding.
- Let the technician know about breast implants or benign cysts as they can cause some additional discomfort.
Can you believe we’re approaching the end of the year already? In November and December, our office will be closed on a few select days so that our staff can enjoy the holidays with family and friends.
State of the Art care
Dr.Arlene Weinshelbaum established the Gainesville Women’s Center for Radiology in 1982 with the primary goal of saving lives through the early detection of breast cancer. To learn more about our practice visit our First Facts section.
Still haven’t gotten your first mammogram? Here are a few facts about mammograms every woman should know: Continue reading “Mammogram Facts: Everything You Need to Know”