7 Ways to a Better Mammogram
Annual screening is essential for good breast health. Dr. Onalisa Winblad, director of breast imaging, recommends these 7 tips to get your best mammogram.
- Get your mammogram at The University of Kansas Health System. Where you get your mammogram matters. Our experienced breast radiologists find early-stage breast cancer at a rate that exceeds the national benchmark.
- Schedule at the same time each year. Getting your mammogram on or near the same date annually helps ensure you don't let a year – or 2, or 3 – slip by without making an appointment.
- Provide previous mammograms from other facilities. By comparing the new images with previous ones, the radiologist can detect subtle changes in breast tissue, which ensures the most accurate interpretation. You'll also receive your mammogram results more quickly.
- Choose a facility with 3D mammography (tomosynthesis). 3D mammograms provide more information about your breast tissue. This allows a radiologist to find more cancers and prevents many women from having to return for extra images.
- Shower, yes. Deodorant, no. Bathe or shower before your appointment to remove deodorant and lotion particles, which can cause the breast to have an abnormal appearance on mammograms. Don't reapply deodorant until after your mammogram.
- Alert the technologist to any abnormalities you've noticed. Let your mammographer know of any changes or abnormalities you've felt during breast self-exams.
- Ask the technologist if you have dense breast tissue. A dense breast has more connective tissue than fat, which increases your risk of breast cancer. Dense breasts can also reduce the accuracy of a mammogram. An ultrasound breast screening may be recommended to supplement your mammogram.
Screening mammograms are the only way we have proven to decrease death from breast cancer; they save lives. Mammograms allow us to find breast cancers when they are small and treatable. – Onalisa Winblad, MDDirector, Breast Imaging