Mammography is an x-ray exam of breast tissue. The image produced is called a mammogram. A mammogram can help detect problems with your breasts, such as cysts or cancer.
Before Your Test
- Schedule the test for one week after your period, when your breasts are less tender.
- Make sure your clinic gets your last mammogram if it was done somewhere else. This lets the doctor compare the two.
- On the morning of your test, wash your breasts and underarms, but don't use deodorant, powder, or perfume.
- Wear a top that you can remove easily.
During Your Test
- You will need to undress from the waist up.
- The technologist will position your breast to get the best test results.
- Each of your breasts will be compressed. This helps get the most complete x-ray image.
After Your Test
- More x-rays are sometimes needed. You'll be called to schedule them.
- You should be notified of your test results in writing. Ask about this on the day of your appointment.
- Have mammograms as often as your healthcare provider recommends. Also be sure to do regular breast self-exams.
Let the technologist know if:
- You're pregnant or think you may be.
- You have breast implants.
- You have any scars or moles on or near your breasts.
- You've had a breast biopsy or surgery.
- You're breastfeeding.