Making the most of your mammogram…
- Once you find a facility you have confidence in, try to go there every year, so that your mammograms can be compared from year to year.
- Have more than one radiologist read your study, if your insurance covers this.
- Ask if your center has CAD — computer-aided detection — a tool that assists the radiologist in finding any areas of concern that need further attention.
- If you’ve been referred for a mammogram because of a suspicious lump or a finding on another test, make sure your doctor includes a detailed note as to why the mammogram has been ordered. For example, if the doctor felt a lump in the upper portion of the breast, closer to the underarm, the note might say, “palpable mass in the upper outer quadrant, left breast, rule out abnormality.” Be prepared to talk about previous unusual findings or symptoms with the technologist who performs the mammogram.
- Work with your doctor to compare your mammogram results with any other tests you may have had done, such as ultrasound or MRI.
- On the day of the exam, wear a skirt or pants, rather than a dress, since you’ll need to remove your top for the test. Don’t wear deodorant or antiperspirant, since these can show up on the film and interfere with the test results.
- Avoid scheduling your mammogram at a time when your breasts are swollen or tender, such as right before your period.
- Discuss your family history of breast and other cancers — from both your mother’s AND father’s side — with your doctor.
- If you don’t receive any results within 30 days, call your doctor or testing facility to ask for the results.
- Bring your past mammogram films/results with you. If you’ve been to the same facility before, make sure your past results are available to whoever is reading the study. You can upload and store this information on FootrprintID and have access to it 24 hours a day from your smart phone.
To learn more visit www.footprintid.com