Why you shouldn’t worry or wait to get your mammogram

Early detection is the key to fighting breast cancer. That’s why mammograms are crucial for all women over age of 40 — or earlier if you have a family history of breast cancer. The two biggest risk factors for breast cancer are being a woman and getting older. Still, you might be like many other women and hesitate to get a mammogram when you should.

This may be because you didn’t find previous exams very comfortable. But it is important to know that things have changed with digital mammograms, making the experience more comfortable for women with all sizes of breasts. And, with this newer system, the picture is improved without as much squeezing.

Also, you can take some simple steps to help you better enjoy your mammogram experience. First, schedule your exam for after your period. Be sure to avoid wearing deodorant as this can look like calcium on a mammogram. The Breast Center will have deodorant available for you to use after the exam. If you have sore breasts, take some Ibuprofen before your mammogram. That will help.

Remember, the mammogram will only take about 15 minutes for four views — a little more for those with breast implants. The mammography techs are all experienced and know how to help. If you are concerned or scared, just let them know.

Now through the end of May, St.Vincent is offering a special low price on mammograms. Find out more here. And, if you believe you meet the criteria for a high-risk evaluation, check out our excellent Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Program designed to help you and your doctor work together to create a customized screening regimen just for you. More information can be found here.

Because early detection is the biggest key to beating cancer, we’re here to help you overcome any hesitation you have about getting your mammogram. Hope to see you soon!

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