July 12, 2022

Glossary: Mammogram

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woman getting a mammogram

What is a Mammogram?

A mammogram is an X-ray image taken of the breast to detect breast cancer (CDC). Mammograms are an important  form of breast cancer screening recommended for women over the age of 40 every 1-2 years (CDC). Mammograms are usually performed at an imaging center, where a radiologist will interpret the images and report the findings back to your doctor, usually an OB/GYN. Abnormal results do not always indicate the presence of cancer, additional tests or a referral to a specialist will occur to get more conclusive results. 

What happens during a mammogram?

During a mammogram, a technician will position your breasts between two plates in front of the mammogram X-ray machine. While your breasts rests on the bottom plate, the top plate will lower and flatten the breast in order to capture a more complete image of the breast tissue. The plates are then positioned vertically and the process is completed again. The imaging usually takes between 15-30 minutes to complete and some people report feeling pain during the imaging due to the breast compression. 

GENERAL DISCLAIMER: It’s Fetch is a community that provides a safe space for members to discuss health and wellness topics. We provide access to archived health related content, note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content shared, regardless of date should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician. 

-Written by Sabrina Park MPH

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