So, you’ve made your first mammogram appointment, or you’re considering making one. Either way it can be stressful, and you may not know exactly what to expect.
Not to worry, you have come to the right place to eliminate some of the guesswork and learn what you can expect out of this important cancer screening exam.
Make your appointment
Take the first step and make your appointment, at TEPAS Breast Center, patients can do this with a few easy clicks on our website or by calling the office at (321) 312-4178. It’s no secret that early cancer detection can save lives, a mammogram is the best way to find breast cancer, in fact, it’s recommended all women should begin having yearly mammograms by the age of 40.
Try to skip the lotion, powder and ointment the day of your screening, they can show up on your and can cause a need for repeat imaging. If you can’t, or you forget, not to worry a wipe will be provided for you in the changing room.
Dress the part and come to your mammogram appointment wearing a two-piece outfit. You will be asked to change from the waist up and provided with a disposable gown, wearing bottoms will save you from being fully exposed.
The entire mammogram procedure will take about 30 minutes and be conducted by a highly qualified and personable mammogram technologist. After you arrive you will relax in a private lobby before being escorted back to the changing room where you will change from the waist up into a disposable gown.
Once changed, your mammogram technologist will take you a few short steps into the exam room.
Expect things to get a little personal. Once in the exam room, your technologist will assist you in positioning your breast into the perfect position to get clear readable x-rays. A clear plastic paddle will be lowered slowly to hold the breast still, this allows for the machine to get the highest quality pictures.
If you have heard other women’s experiences of mammograms you may be a little worried about the pressure being uncomfortable. You can rest easy knowing; TEPAS Breast Center not only uses Genius 3D MammographyTM but the machine is also equipped with the SmartCurveTM system.
The SmartCurveTM paddle mimics the natural shape of your breast allowing for a much more comfortable experience compared to traditional non-curved paddles. The imaging only lasts for several seconds, and if you have any discomfort tell the technologist so they can help you stay comfortable.
93% of women report increased comfort with SmartCurveTM system
Once the x-rays have been taken, you’re all finished and will be escorted back to the dressing room where you can redress and continue on with your day.
A radiologist will review your x-rays and send your doctor a report as well as a letter to you in the mail.
It isn’t uncommon for a woman’s first mammogram to show suspicious findings, as there aren’t previous exam results to compare the x-rays to. Also, if there are suspicious findings, they aren’t usually cancer, the images could simply be showing cysts or dense tissue.
Where You Go Matters
Not all mammograms are equal, at TEPAS Breast Center, we use state-of-the-art Genius 3D mammogram technology equipped with the SmartCurveTM paddle. This machine significantly increases accuracy, detecting 41% more invasive breast cancer and reducing false positives by up to 40%, compared to 2D mammograms. Additionally, Breast centers that only take 3D imaging, as we do here at TEPAS Breast Center, reduce radiation exposure to their patients. Be aware that some centers take both 2 and 3D imaging, unnecessarily exposing their patients to additional radiation.
2D vs 3D Mammograms
2D mammograms are limited in that they are only able to take images from the front and sides. This limitation can cause some cancers to remain hidden by overlying dense tissue. 3D mammograms can find abnormalities that 2D simply can’t. 3D mammography provides images of the breast in “slices” and from many different angles. This makes finding abnormalities easier and determining if abnormalities are potentially worrisome and in need of further examination.