Whenever most women hear the word mammogram, they tend to groan on the inside because it is typically something that is considered to be very unpleasant. The fact of the matter is, however, mammograms are the single best way for you to make sure that you do not have breast cancer. Detecting this disease early on in its development is your best defense against having it become a larger problem. That is why it is recommended that women have a mammogram on a regular basis once they reach a particular age. As a matter of fact, many women schedule these appointments a year in advance so that they are sure to have them.
There are two basic types of mammograms that you can have. The screening mammogram is the one that most women are familiar with because it is a mammogram that is given whenever there are no visible signs of breast cancer present. These typically start at the age of 40 and according to the American Cancer Society; women should have a screening mammogram on an annual basis as a part of their overall health care routine. If it is thought that there may be a problem or perhaps that there is some breast cancer present, a different kind of mammogram is given. This is typically referred to as a diagnostic mammogram and although it is very similar to a standard mammogram, the results will be scrutinized a little more closely out of concern that there may be some cancer present.
The good part about mammograms is the fact that there really isn't any preparation necessary before you go in for the procedure. You don't need to go on any kind of a special diet ahead of time or fast as you do with many other medical procedures. Even any medication that you are taking can continue to be taken which is important for those that need to take these medicines on a daily basis in order for them to continue working. One interesting thing, however, that you may have to do is to use deodorant on that day because it may show up in the mammogram images.
Whenever you go in for your mammograms, you will probably need to fill out a form, each and every time you have an appointment. You will then be asked to remove your shirt and to stand in front of a special type of x-ray machine that will press your breasts in place in order to make them as flat as it possibly can. This is necessary in order to eliminate as much motion as possible and to spread the tissue so that a good x-ray can be taken. It typically doesn't last more than half a minute and is not overly uncomfortable although many women do complain that it is one of the more uncomfortable things that they have to go through on a regular basis. Whenever it comes to the fight against breast cancer, however, a little bit of discomfort on an annual basis is well worth the opportunity to stay ahead of this dangerous disease.
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