1) Choose a certified mammogram facility. Ask whether the mammogram facility is certified by the Food and Drug Administration, which ensures the facility meets certain standards.
2) Schedule the test for a time when your breasts are least likely to be tender. If you haven’t gone through menopause, schedule your appointment during the week after your menstrual period, if possible.
3) Bring your prior mammogram images. If you’re going to a new facility, gather any prior mammograms and bring them with you so the radiologist can compare them with your new images.
4) Don’t use deodorant before your mammogram. Avoid using deodorants, antiperspirants, powders, lotions, creams or perfumes under your arms or on your breasts. Metallic particles in powders and deodorants could be visible on your mammogram and cause confusion.
5) Consider an over-the-counter pain medication if you find having a mammogram is uncomfortable.
Whatever you do, do NOT neglect your health by missing or postponing your mammogram. The National Cancer Institute recommends that women age 40 or older should have screening mammograms every 1 to 2 years. Based on your health and family history, your physician will be able to recommend how often you should receive a mammogram.
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