Things to Consider When Scheduling Your Mammogram Appointment:
- To reduce discomfort, schedule your mammogram appointment for the week after your period. Breasts are usually most tender the week before and the week of your period.
- Talk to your health care provider about your medical history. Discuss family or personal history of breast cancer and information about any breast surgeries. Be sure to mention any changes you have noticed in your breasts. Your health care provider will also need to know if you are pregnant or if you think you might be pregnant.
Things to Do Before Your Mammogram Appointment:
- If you are a new patient at the Breast Care Center, feel free to visit the center before your appointment. Visiting the Center before your appointment will allow you to familiarize yourself with the Center and staff. This visit may help ease any anxiety you may feel about your mammogram appointment.
- If you have had mammograms in the past and are a new patient at Lourdes, bring reports and images from previous mammograms and ultrasounds to your appointment. To obtain your previous reports and images, call the hospital or radiology center where the breast images were taken. Request a copy of the mammogram and ultrasound imaging, as well as reports be forwarded to the Breast Care Center prior to your appointment. This will allow staff the opportunity to review all of your information. If you need help obtaining your reports, call the Breast Care Center at 607-798-5411.
- Reduce your intake of products containing caffeine, such as chocolate, coffee, and soda, three to four days before your appointment. Caffeine can cause breast tenderness. Caffeine can also aggravate breast cysts or create lumpiness that may increase the amount of discomfort you feel during your mammogram.
Things to Do the Day of Your Mammogram Appointment:
- Avoid the use of powders, lotions, perfumes, and antiperspirants under your arms and on/around the breast area. Substances such as aluminum and other metals found in some of these products can interfere with results on your mammogram.
- Wear a two piece outfit to your appointment. This will allow you to remove only the clothing necessary (blouse and bra) to perform the mammogram. You may want to consider wearing a button-up shirt/blouse to allow for easier removal.
- If you wear jewelry, wear items you can remove easily. You may be required to remove certain jewelry, such as necklaces, dangling earrings, or nipple rings, during your mammogram.
- Take an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, about an hour before your appointment. Such medications may help reduce the amount of discomfort you feel from compression during your mammogram.
- Do your best to relax during your mammogram. Tensing or shaking may cause you to move slightly, which may require additional views or cause a blurry image.