Preparing for your first mammogram can cause many women anxiety. They may have heard horror stories of the screening process that can make them hesitant to schedule their appointment. However, at Craig Ranch OB/GYN, patients can speak to our team about what to expect during their first mammography to ease their anxiety and help them understand the importance of having these screenings performed annually.
What is a mammogram?
First, we educate patients on the mammogram system. Mammography is the best tool for early detection of breast cancer. The machine is a specialized device that has two plates that compress the breasts to create images for the doctor. These images can assist in detecting the early stages of cancer. Some lumps that are found in mammography are benign, and may actually be clumps of breast tissue or cysts that do not need to be surgically removed and cause no concern. However, if signs of cancer are found, they are usually in the earlier detection stages and provide patients with a much better outcome than those who do not receive a diagnosis until the later stages.
What to expect during the first mammogram
Upon arrival, patients will be undressed from the waist up and need to wear a medical gown. Prior to arriving, patients should avoid the use of perfumes or deodorants as they can interfere with the mammography machine. A trained technician will lead patients to the examination room and up to the machine. The breasts are positioned one at a time within the two imaging plates. Pressure is applied while the device provides x-ray images. While the compression may be uncomfortable, it is necessary to get a clear image of the breast tissue and to reduce the amount of radiation needed for the best imaging results. The entire process can take approximately ten minutes or less.
Craig Ranch OB/GYN offers mammogram services
While the thought of undergoing a mammogram seems like an anxiety-ridden appointment, it is a vital part of regular, preventative screenings for women. Call Dr. Craig Ranch of McKinney, TX today to schedule your mammogram at (214) 544-6600.