Mammogram or in fact going for any kind of investigation can make a person anxious. Being aware of what is going to happen and being prepared for the test can help to reduce your anxiety. Here are some tips on how to prepare for mammography.
[Read: Purpose of Mammography]
- Choose a center which is approved for doing mammograms. Consult your doctor and discuss your medical history such as previous surgeries, any breast disease, hormone therapy if applicable, any changes or problems in your breasts, any family history of breast cancer.
- Discuss with your doctor regarding the best time to go for a mammogram. For premenopausal women it is usually recommended to get the mammogram appointment scheduled for the week following your period. The breasts may be tender the week before and the week during your period. Getting the mammogram a week after your period reduces the chance of inflammation and breast tenderness. [Read: When to Undergo Mammmography?]
- Get your previous mammogram films if any during your appointment, especially if it was done at a different center. This can help your radiologist to compare the new images with the old image for any changes.
- If you are prone to breast tenderness you can reduce the risk of experiencing pain after mammogram by taking simple analgesics such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen about an hour before your mammogram appointment.
- Wear a dress which is comfortable and easy to remove such as a 2-piece outfit so that it is easier for you to remove just your top. You will be given a robe or hospital gown to wear for the procedure.
- Do not apply deodorant, powder or skin lotion of any kind when you go for the mammogram. These cosmetics may contain certain metallic constituents which can appear on the screening as abnormal shadow or spots and cause undue alarm.
- You can eat and drink normally before having a mammogram. However it is advisable to reduce your intake of caffeinated beverages and chocolate for 3— 4 days before your scheduled appointment. Although there is no conclusive evidence of relationship between caffeine and breast cysts some evidence does suggest that caffeine may increase benign breast lumps and cause more discomfort when the breast are compressed during the mammogram.
- Take all your medications as recommended on the day of your mammogram, unless your asked by your doctor to avoid any specific medicine. It is advisable to inform the doctor and the technician conducting the mammogram of any medications you are taking (prescription and non-prescription).
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