Mammography is a diagnostic imaging test used to screen for and diagnose breast cancer in women. The procedure involves using X-ray technology to produce detailed images of the breast tissue. Here is what you can expect during a mammography:
Checking in: When you arrive for your appointment, you will check in with the receptionist and provide any necessary paperwork, such as a health history form or insurance information.
Changing into a gown: You will be asked to change into a gown and remove all clothing and jewelry from the waist up. It is important to wear comfortable clothing to make this process easier.
Positioning: You will be positioned in front of the mammography machine, and the technician will position your breast between two plates. The plates will compress your breast for a few seconds to obtain a clear image of the breast tissue.
Image taking: The technician will take two or three images of each breast. One image is taken from the top, and another is taken from the side.
Reviewing the images: After the images have been taken, the technician will review them to ensure that they are clear and that all necessary areas have been imaged.
Results: After the images have been reviewed, the radiologist will examine them to check for any abnormalities or signs of breast cancer. You will receive the results of your mammography within a few days to a week, depending on the facility.
The entire mammography procedure typically takes around 20 minutes. During the procedure, you may feel some pressure or discomfort as your breast is compressed between the plates. This is normal and should only last a few seconds. It is important to note that mammography is not 100% accurate and may miss some breast cancers, especially in women with dense breast tissue. However, mammography remains the most effective screening tool for breast cancer and can help detect breast cancer in its early stages when it is most treatable. In conclusion, mammography is a safe and effective tool for the early detection of breast cancer. The procedure involves compressing the breast between two plates and taking X-ray images of the breast tissue. The entire procedure is relatively quick and should only take around 20 minutes. If you have any concerns about the mammography procedure, discuss them with your healthcare provider beforehand.