Girl Interrupted

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

[+/-] All about mammograms

(Thanks to Psychomuffin for much of this)
Click on the links for pics and/or more info)

  1. On the day of your mammogram do not use deodorant, lotion or talcum powder on your breasts or underarms. The tiny crystals found in these products may be confused with worrisome calcium spots, and may increase the likelihood that an unnecessary biopsy will be recommended.
  2. Being fat may help as fat is clearer (to the x-ray) (and thus easier to see abnormalities) than dense breast tissue (see here)
How is the Test Performed?

You will be asked to undress from the waist up and will be given a gown to wear. Depending on the type of equipment used, you will sit or stand.

One breast at a time is rested on a flat surface that contains the X-ray plate, and a device called a compressor will be pressed firmly against the breast to help flatten out the breast tissue (ie, mush it like a pancake).The X-ray pictures are taken from several angles. You may be asked to hold your breath as each picture is taken. You may feel some discomfort.

If the lump turns out to be just a cyst, a needle biopsy may be performed, both to eliminate the cyst and to examine it further (pathology testing).
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