Tips for Having a Mammogram
Mammography is the best screening method widely available for early breast cancer detection. However, it is not perfect. But by regularly getting screened and performing breast self exams, there's a good chance that cancer will be caught early.
Following are some useful suggestions for ensuring that you will receive a good quality mammogram:
- If it is not posted visibly near the receptionist's desk, ask to see the FDA certificate that is issued to all facilities that offer mammography.
- Use a facility that specializes in mammography.
- Continue to go to a high-quality facility on a regular basis so that your mammograms can be compared from year to year.
- Be sure to follow the instructions given to you by the mammography center. This could include not wearing deodorant or antiperspirant, which can interfere with the reading of the mammogram.
- Always describe any breast symptoms or problems that you are having to the technologist who is doing the mammogram.
- If you do not hear from your doctor within 10 days, don't assume that your mammogram was normal—call your doctor or the facility.
For more information, visit the American Cancer Society's online guide, Breast Cancer: Early Detection .