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Preparing for Your Screening Mammogram Frequently Asked Questions

When should I start getting a screening mammogram?

Atrium Medical Center follows the American Cancer Society’s guidelines for mammography. Women 40 and over should have a screening mammogram once a year.

Is there a better time of the month for me to schedule a mammogram?

The best time of the month to have your mammogram is seven to ten days after the start of your period. This is when your breasts are least likely to be tender. 

How should I prepare for a mammogram?

For us to get the most accurate images, please do not wear deodorant, lotion, powder or perfume on the day of your appointment. Particles from these substances may interfere with the pictures. You will undress from the waist up and change into a gown for the exam, so you may want to wear a shirt and pants or a skirt instead of a dress. You also will be asked to remove any jewelry.

Is mammography dangerous? Is it painful?

A mammogram uses small amounts of radiation so it is safe. During your exam, we will compress your breasts for the best possible view of the inside of your breasts, so you may experience some discomfort. This compression isn’t dangerous, doesn’t damage breast tissue and doesn’t create long-term discomfort. In rare cases, patients experience slight discomfort or temporary skin discoloration after their mammogram because of breast compression. If you experience discomfort, take buffered aspirin or acetaminophen (Tylenol®).

I have breast implants. Can I still have a mammogram?

Women with breast implants can and should have annual mammograms. However, we use special views to image breasts with implants. Since these require a slightly longer session, let the scheduler know that you have implants.

Who will perform my exam?

A female technologist specially trained in mammography will perform your exam. Tell the technologist if you are breastfeeding, if you think you may be pregnant or if you have any other concerns about your breasts or the exam. The more we know about you, the better and more comfortable your appointment will be.

What happens to my mammogram after I leave?

After your appointment, an experienced radiologist will read your mammogram using computer-aided analysis to help detect abnormalities. We typically evaluate screening mammograms within two to four days and send results to your physician as soon as the images are reviewed.

Sometimes, additional imaging is needed to get a clearer view of your breast tissue or to further investigate a questionable area. Often this is caused by normal overlapping breast tissue or other insignificant appearances. If you are asked to return for more testing, don’t be alarmed. We only want to tailor the exam to your needs and ensure the most accurate evaluation possible.

Why choose Atrium’s Women’s Center for mammography?

Atrium offers full-field digital mammography at two convenient locations. We also offer a wide range of advanced diagnostic capabilities (ultrasound, breast biopsies, breast MRI) if additional testing is needed. Led by a nationally recognized radiologist, our highly skilled team includes board-certified radiologists, female technologists with advanced mammography certification and a breast care coordinator. If you require a diagnostic mammogram, it will be reviewed immediately and you’ll know your results before you leave our center. In addition, we offer DEXA bone density screenings and free health risk assessments. For your convenience, free parking and early morning appointments are available. (Saturday appointments are available at our Grand Avenue location.)

How do I schedule an appointment?

To schedule a mammogram at one of our two locations, please call (513) 420-5222 or toll free (800) 338-4057, extension 5222.

Learn more about mammography.