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Breast Cancer Screenings

When was your last mammogram? If you're over 40, routine screening is recommended, especially for women with a family history or increased risk. If you've never had a mammogram, you may have questions and concerns. We hope to address many of those below.

What is a mammogram? A mammogram is an X-ray picture of the breast. Doctors use a mammogram to look for early signs of breast cancer. Finding breast cancer early through routine screenings can improve outcomes. Additionally, more women can be treated for breast cancer without a mastectomy (breast removal) if caught early. Mammograms are not perfect; however, research continues to prove their importance in detection.

Important things to know about mammograms

  • A screening can save your life. Finding breast cancer as early as possible reduces your risk of dying from the disease by 25-30%.

  • Mammography is a fast procedure (about 20 minutes). If you're anxious or prone to anxiety, we recommend visiting a center that will give provide results the same day.

  • Quality is important. If available, try to get a digital mammogram. A digital mammogram is recorded onto a computer so that doctors can enlarge certain sections to look at them more closely.

  • According to the American Cancer Society, about 10% of women (1 in 10) who have a mammogram will require more tests.

Helpful tips for your appointment

  • Don’t wear deodorant or antiperspirant to your mammogram since these can show up on the film and interfere with the test results.

  • Try not to have your mammogram the week before your period or during your period. Your breasts may be tender or swollen then and cause discomfort.

  • You will have to undress from the waist up. We recommend wearing a blouse or top that can be easily removed.

We encourage you to find a physician you can trust and schedule your mammogram as soon as possible. Feel free to contact Hope for the Journey for referrals and general questions, as well as support.

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