A mammogram refers to an x-ray image of a breast. Medical practitioners use mammograms to see any early signs of breast cancer. There are two main types of mammograms: mammogram screening and diagnostic mammograms.
Screening mammogram and diagnostic mammogram
Screening mammograms are tests usually performed on women who do not exhibit any signs or symptoms of breast cancer. Regular checkups of mammograms can help reduce the number of breast cancer deaths in women aged 40 and above. This is because they can get breast cancer early, and treatment can start early, perhaps before it spreads.
A diagnostic mammogram is performed on people with a lump or other signs or symptoms of breast cancer. Symptoms may include breast pain, thickening of the breast skin, swollen nipples, or breast size or posture changes. However, these symptoms can also be caused by a healthy breast condition. A mammogram, along with other tests, can help your provider determine if you have cancer.
How is a mammogram taken?
If you have a mammogram, stand in front of the x-ray machine. The x-ray person places your chest between two plastic plates. Plates compress your chest and make it flat. This may not be comfortable, but it does help to get a clear picture.
You will get both x-ray breasts from the front and sides. After that, the radiologist (specially trained doctor) will study the mammogram. The doctor will x-ray to find the first signs of breast cancer or other problems. You will usually get the results in a few weeks, even if it goes to the clinic or medical office you went to. If your results are abnormal, you should hear them in advance. Contact your provider or the office where you performed the mammogram if you do not receive your results report within 30 days.
Should I be worried if my mammogram is not normal?
An abnormal mammogram does not point to cancer. You will need to have additional mammograms or other tests or even be asked to visit a breast specialist or surgeon. However, that is not enough of a reason for needing surgery.
Mammograms should become a part of one’s general checkup, especially after 40. It is the go-to method for cancer diagnosis, and it is always better to diagnose them early. You will find plenty of places that take these tests by simply typing mammograms near me in New Jersey on an internet browser.