By Tonya Stancil:
I take a reasonably realistic method for my fitness. So after I grew to become 40, I wasn’t amazed whilst my number one care medical doctor stated it became time for my first mammogram. I already knew what a mammogram is and the way crucial they are, so I didn’t want to be satisfied to feature it in my listing of annual fitness to-dos.
But, that didn’t suggest I didn’t have questions. You probably recognize those I’m speaking approximately:
Is it going to hurt?
How long does it take?
What surely occurs in there?
Now that I’m some mammograms wiser, here’s what I desire I knew earlier than my first mammogram.
1. A mammogram probably isn’t always as awful as you believe you studied it’s going to be:
I’m now no longer going to mention I felt comfortable for the duration of my first mammogram, however, it wasn’t any extra awkward or uncomfortable than seeing my gynecologist — something I’d been doing for decades.
During the mammogram, there’s virtually pressure, and there’s without a doubt discomfort — however I wouldn’t say it’s painful. Not to choose dentists, however, I suppose dental paintings are worse than a mammogram.
2. Your mammogram won’t surely take very long:
The mammogram procedure is quite brief and easy. Here’s a play-with the aid of using-play of what occurs withinside the examination room:
First, I put off my pinnacle and bra and placed on the supplied gown.
Then, a mammogram technologist allows role one in every one of my breasts with the specialized X-ray gadget.
Next, the gadget compresses my breast for only a few seconds whilst the technologist takes an X-ray. This procedure is then repeated approximately 3 instances for every one of my breasts.
Each compression may be very brief, and the whole imaging procedure lasts approximately 5 mins.
Then I dress and keep on with my day.
3. Your technologist will stroll you through every step of your mammogram:
I’m continually inspired by the aid of using and recognizing my mammogram technologist (who’s continually a woman).
Maybe it’s the reality that she is professional — understanding precisely what to do and sincerely explaining it to me as she does it. Or perhaps it’s due to the fact she includes simply the proper quantity of informal conversation, whilst nevertheless getting proper right all the way down to business.
Either way, my mammogram technologist allows making what must be an inclined state of affairs sense like a fairly stress-unfastened enjoyment.
4. You might also additionally get referred to again for extra imaging:
Just like maximum matters in life, I’ve discovered that breast imaging isn’t continually perfect. And, yes, I’ve gotten that name earlier than — the only one in which they inform me I want to return for extra imaging.
In my case, they speedy stated I shouldn’t anticipate the worst and that this callback became precautionary (one in every of my pix wasn’t as clean as they’d adore it to be). No person desires to ought to pass again — however, my enjoyment taught me now no longer to panic at once if it occurs.
5. When it involves choosing an imaging facility, do your homework:
I had my first mammogram at a widespread imaging facility, and, at the time, it appeared fine. Although, it became a piece awkward sitting after male sufferers withinside the ready room whilst sporting a medical examination gown.
Now, I visit an imaging facility that makes specialty in breast imaging, and I can let you know that it’s a very distinct enjoy. It’s additionally crucial to me that in which I pass maintain my fitness and protection as a priority.
I nevertheless ought to spend 5 mins up near and private with an X-ray gadget, however, the relaxation of my appointment is like being at a spa. The environment and décor are calming, the ready room has a tea bar and I get a comfy, heated gown to put on in place of a paper examination gown. Plus, there’s a deodorant for me to use earlier than I leave. (Been there, carried out that tip: Don’t put on deodorant or lotion in your mammogram.)
6. Ask for a 3-D mammogram:
Technology has been superior considering my first mammogram, and now I continually timetable what’s referred to as a 3-D mammogram. I heard approximately this more modern sort of mammogram from my medical doctor, who advised me it affords a clearer photograph of my breast — decreasing the hazard of being referred to again for follow-up imaging and enhancing the hazard of catching breast most cancers as early as possible.
3-D mammograms aren’t provided everywhere so you do ought to ask approximately it whilst you’re scheduling your mammogram. But, to me, the introduced advantages make it worthwhile.
7. Find an imaging middle you like — and stay with it:
Going to the equal breast imaging middle every yr is ready extra than simply convenience.
After my first mammogram, a massive part of what my medical doctor is searching out in my scans are adjustments from my beyond mammograms.
You can continually request beyond pix be despatched to a distinct imaging facility, however, it’s less complicated to do your homework in advance of time and discover a specialized breast imaging middle that you suppose you’ll like from the get-pass.
8. The peace of thought makes a mammogram well worth it:
What I recognize for positive is that medical doctors can’t deal with something they don’t recognize I have — and that breast cancer is a lot less complicated to deal with whilst it’s stuck early.
Before I open the consequences of my mammogram each yr, I take a deep breath. After I study my consequences, I deliver myself lots of time to comprehend the wave of comfort I sense after I see the test mark in the front, “No signal of breast cancer.”
Tonya Stancil works for Houston Methodist. Even at eleven though it’s been some years considering that her first mammogram, she desired to proportion her tackle to what it’s clearly like.