Cix Health Blog

February 21, 2022

What to Expect at Your First Mammogram

balloons that look like two breasts for a mammogram

Mammograms aren’t as scary as you might think; here’s what to expect at your first one

We have all heard the horror stories of what a mammogram is. But what is the truth? What exactly is a mammogram? Why is this preventative screening so lifesaving? Throughout this blog, we will answer these questions and discuss a mammogram to reveal the truth behind this essential screening.

What is a Mammogram?

Let’s set the record straight. What is a mammogram? According to John Hopkins Medicine, “A mammogram is an X-ray examination of the breast. It is used to detect and diagnose breast disease in women who either have breast problems, such as a lump, pain, or nipple discharge, as well as for women who have no breast complaints.” Currently, the National Cancer Institute recommends that women in their 40s and older should be getting a mammogram at least once a year or once every two years, depending on your physician’s recommendation. If you’re unsure when to receive your first mammogram, reach out to your physician to learn more about your options.

Preparing for Your First Mammogram

To prepare for your first mammogram, try wearing loose clothing, and easy to change since you will be removing your clothes from the waist up to put on a gown. Also, avoid wearing any lotions, deodorant, or perfumes that could interfere with the machine. For your comfort, look to schedule your mammogram 1 -2 weeks after your period to avoid any tenderness from pre-menstruation and menstruation. Your physician might request other preparation based on your current medical conditions, be sure to check in with them before scheduling your mammogram.

What to Expect at Your First Mammogram

It’s normal to feel nervous before your first mammogram, but it’s important to remember that this screening could be lifesaving and preventative for future health conditions. Here is what to expect:

  • Pretest Questionnaire – A set of questions about family medical history and any present health conditions. Be sure to share if you have breast implants or are currently breastfeeding.
  • Undress and Prepare for the Screening – A trained technician will give you a gown to wear during the screening, as you will have to undress from the waist up.
  • Your Breasts will be Compressed Horizontally for Imaging – This will only last a couple of seconds!
  • Your Breasts will be Compressed Diagonally for Imaging – Your technicians are highly trained and will take multiple images from different angles. It will be over before you know it.
  • You’re Done! – Congratulations, you made it through your first mammogram.

After the Mammogram

Once your mammogram is complete, you will then wait for about ten days before receiving results from your physicians. There’s no need to worry, only about 3 and 1,000 mammogram results in a breast cancer diagnosis. Even though this is true, it’s essential to stay consistent with your preventative screenings.

To learn more about what preventative screenings are suitable for you, download the Cix Health app to receive personalized preventive screening recommendations with the ability to schedule and organize your upcoming appointments. Download the app here.

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