A mammogram takes about 20 minutes to perform and while many women dread the brief discomfort, doctors claim it's a necessary part of the procedure.
"The harder they squeeze and squish that breast, the less tissue the x-rays have to go through, the more likely they are to find something," said Dr. Sujatha Reedy.Â
Following some basic advice can help improve the accuracy of a mammogram and lessen the discomfort.
"The best time of your cycle to do the mammogram is going to be when your period is over, maybe a week after your period is done where the breasts are not going to be tender," said Dr. Reedy.Â
Avoid caffeine before a mammogram, because it can make breasts feel tender. Wear a two piece outfit to make it easier to undress. Don't use deodorant, perfumes or powders that might leave a residue that can be picked up on x-rays.Â
Describe any unusual breast symptoms to the technician and let them know if you think you might be pregnant. Going to the same facility year after year will allow doctors to compare old films with new films. Â Â
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