Mammogram is an X-ray of the breasts that is done to check for changes that are not normal.

This test can screen for and find any changes that may suggest breast cancer. This test can also help to find other changes and variations in the breast.

What happens before the procedure?

  • Have this test done about 1–2 weeks after your period. This is usually when your breasts are the least tender.
  • If you are visiting a new doctor or clinic, send any past mammogram images to your new doctor’s office.
  • Wash your breasts and under your arms the day of the test.
  • Do not use deodorants, perfumes, lotions, or powders on the day of the test.
  • Take off any jewelry from your neck.
  • Wear clothes that you can change into and out of easily.

What happens during the procedure?

  • You will undress from the waist up. You will put on a gown.
  • You will stand in front of the X-ray machine.
  • Each breast will be placed between two plastic or glass plates. The plates will press down on your breast for a few seconds. Try to stay as relaxed as possible. This does not cause any harm to your breasts. Any discomfort you feel will be very brief.
  • X-rays will be taken from different angles of each breast.

The procedure may vary among doctors and hospitals.

What happens after the procedure?

  • The mammogram will be looked at by a specialist (radiologist).
  • You may need to do certain parts of the test again. This depends on the quality of the images.
  • Ask when your test results will be ready. Make sure you get your test results.
  • You may go back to your normal activities.

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