Mammograms: What You Need to Know

tackling reconstructionIn the spirit of Breast Cancer Awareness month, The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction urges women to schedule their yearly mammogram. Early detection saves lives! Today we bring you an exclusive interview with Sandra Smith, Lead Technologist at the Charleston Breast Center on mammogram preparation.

Read below for our interview with Sandra.

1. What is the best time of the month to schedule my mammogram and why?

Avoid days of the month when your breasts are most sensitive. This is for your comfort. The mammogram imaging will not be affected, unlike MRI IMAGING when it is important to schedule according to menstrual cycle.

2. Should I do anything to prepare in the days prior to the exam or for the exam itself?

There is no preparation for mammography. We ask that you do not wear deodorant, which can cause artifacts.

3. Does it hurt?

No, mammograms should not hurt. Compression must be used to spread out breast tissue so abnormalities can been seen. You may feel pressure from the compression and slight discomfort, however if you feel pain let the technologist know right away.   

4. At what age should a woman schedule her first mammogram?

That depends on risk factors such as family history. The recommended age for the first mammogram is 40 years old.

5. Explain the role of the technician and the desired credentials.  

The role of the technologist is to provide the radiologist with the best quality images in a professional and caring manner. Most technologists really care about women’s health and choose to go into this profession for that reason. Additional courses and certification is required to be a mammogram technologist. Continued education is required to maintain certification.

charleston-breast-centerAbout the Charleston Breast Center

Founded in 2006, the Charleston Breast Center provides expedited and compassionate care to women who are being screened for breast cancer. For more information visit their website at: