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.
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-Written by Sabrina Park MPH