3 Things You Need to Know About Scheduling Mammograms

Mammograms play a critical role in helping you ensure that your breasts stay healthy. Regular mammograms can help you catch serious problems like breast cancer or abnormal growths while these conditions are still treatable. While most women know that mammograms are important, they can still be a bit overwhelming.

Here are three tips to keep in mind to ensure that you receive the best-quality mammogram in the future.

1. Find the right facility to conduct your mammogram.

When it comes to receiving a mammogram, it's essential that you take the time to research potential facilities that offer this service in your area. Quality mammography facilities are inspected and certified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and facilities that have met the stringent requirements set forth by the FDA will proudly display their certification in the reception area.

If you arrive for your mammogram and don't see evidence of FDA certification, ask the receptionist to see a copy of the facility's certificate. If a copy cannot be produced, schedule your mammogram elsewhere to ensure the most accurate results.

2. Stick with the same facility.

Mammograms are designed to not only identify immediate threats but also monitor changes in your breast tissue over time. Making comparisons to previous mammograms is a lot easier when you continue visiting the same facility each year. Scheduling your mammograms in the same facility ensures that doctors will have access to images taken during previous procedures, making it possible to complete a more accurate and thorough evaluation.

If you do need to change facilities due to a geographic relocation, be sure to request that all of your existing mammogram images are transferred to your new facility in advance of your first mammogram with a new doctor.

3. Schedule around your menstrual cycle.

Receiving a mammogram can cause some mild discomfort because your breasts must be compressed between two plates while x-ray images are taken. Although this compression only lasts for a few seconds, if your breasts are tender due to your menstrual cycle, you may find that you experience more discomfort than necessary during the procedure.

Take note of whether or not your breasts become tender before, during, or after your menstrual cycle, and then schedule your mammogram around these tender time frames to ensure the procedure is as painless as possible.

Before scheduling your next mammogram, be sure that you are locating a facility that is FDA certified, that you are making plans to stick with that facility for future mammograms, and that you are scheduling an appointment for a time when your breasts aren't tender. Following these tips will help alleviate some of the stress and discomfort that can be associated with routine mammograms.

Contact healthcare providers such as Women's Care Inc to find a healthcare provider who is a good fit for you.