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- Mammogram Types in Minneapolis
- Mammogram Providers in Minneapolis
Mammography plays a central part in early detection of breast cancers because it can show changes in the breast up to two years before a patient or physician can feel them. The low-dose x-ray system used in most mammogram machines simply expose a small dose of ionizing radiation to the area of interest to produce pictures of the inside of the body. Current guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the American Cancer Society (ACS), the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American College of Radiology (ACR) recommend screening mammography every year for women, beginning at age 40. Research has shown that annual mammograms lead to early detection of breast cancers, when they are most curable and breast-conservation therapies are available. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) adds that women who have had breast cancer and those who are at increased risk due to a genetic history of breast cancer should seek expert medical advice about whether they should begin screening before age 40 and about the frequency of screening.
Mammography Patient Preparation
Inform your doctor or technologist if there is any possibility that you are pregnant. Mammograms can be harmful to your fetus and cause birth defects. It is recommended that you schedule a mammogram one week following your period. Guidelines about eating and drinking before a mammogram vary at different facilities. Unless you are told otherwise, you may follow your regular daily routine and take medications as usual. Do not wear any deodorant, talcum power or lotions under your arms or on your breasts the day of the exam. These can appear on the mammogram as calcium spots. Prior to your exam, discuss any new findings or problems in your breasts with your doctor. Inform your doctor of any prior surgeries, hormone use, and family or personal history of breast cancer. If possible, obtain prior mammograms and make them available to the radiologist at the time of the current exam.
What to expect during and after a Mammogram
The overall preparation and mammogram examination should take approximately 30 minutes. Prior to the procedure, describe any breast symptoms or problems to the technologist performing the exam. If areas are noted then a special adhesive marker will be placed at the location of the areas prior to the procedure. At the time of the procedure you will be asked to remove any clothing, jewelry, or other objects that might interfere with the procedure. You will also be asked to remove your clothing from your waist up and then given a hospital gown to wear. For the procedure, you will stand in front of a mammography machine. One breast at a time will be placed on the x-ray plate. Compression on the breast is required in order to minimize the amount of radiation used and to ensure optimal visualization of the breast tissue. You may feel some discomfort during this time. During the procedure, you will be asked to stay very still and may even be asked to hold your breath for a few seconds while the x-ray picture is taken to reduce the possibility of a blurred image. To take the actual x-ray picture, the technologist will walk behind a wall or into the next room to activate the x-ray machine. Multiple pictures will most likely be taking of each breast. Once the procedure is complete, you will be asked to wait until the technologist determines that the images are of high enough quality for the radiologist to read. Once cleared, ask your doctor or technician when your results will be ready.