SHOULD I WORRY ABOUT THE AMOUNT OF RADIATION IF I HAVE SEVERAL MAMMOGRAMS?
The dose of radiation used is minimal and should not create a problem for you. In fact, the benefits far outweigh the risks. Having regular mammograms results in earlier detection and decreases your chance of dying from breast cancer.
HOW MUCH PAIN WILL THERE BE WITH A MAMMOGRAM?
You may feel some discomfort when your breast is compressed, but it lasts less than a minute of each film. The compression is done to spread the breast tissue so that any potential abnormalities are more easily seen. The better the compression, the less radiation is delivered to the breast. Usually, four films are taken.
WHERE SHOULD I GO FOR A MAMMOGRAM?
You should have it at a facility that is accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR). This is something you can determine by calling the American Cancer Society, or by asking about certification when you make your appointment.
DOES BREAST SIZE MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
If your breasts are extremely large, or extremely small, it may take a little bit more time to have a mammogram, but screening is just as accurate.
I HAVE BREAST IMPLANTS. DO THE AFFECT A MAMMOGRAM?
It is important to inform the technician that you have implants when you make your appointment for a mammogram. Special techniques are used and some extra films may be required.
IF I HAVE BREAST RECONSTRUCTION USING MY OWN TISSUE, ARE MAMMOGRAMS STILL NECESSARY?
No. If you have had breast reconstruction using your own tissue following a mastectomy, mammograms in your reconstructed breast are not necessary.