As a woman, one of the most important things you can do for your health is undergo regular mammograms. Mammograms allow your physician to identify abnormal tissue in your breasts and determine if it is cancerous in early stages, when treatment can be most effective. At Brandon Regional Hospital, our Breast Center combines the latest mammography technology with compassionate care and amenities to make your visit as comfortable as possible. What happens during a mammogram and why are they so important? Here is what you need to know.
What Is a Mammogram?
Mammograms are X-rays of the breast tissue that are used to check for abnormalities. Some mammograms are performed for screening purposes to check for breast cancer. In other cases, a physician may order a diagnostic mammogram in response to a symptom a patient has, such as a breast lump. Mammogram images can be taken with X-ray film or they can be performed using digital imaging.
When Should Women Have Mammograms?
Most physicians recommend that women begin having annual mammograms at age 40. However, your doctor may recommend a different schedule of testing for you, particularly if you have a family history of breast cancer or have had breast cancer in the past. For women with a high risk of breast cancer, doctors may recommend annual MRIs in conjunction with mammograms.
What Happens During a Mammogram?
During a mammogram, your breast will be placed on a flat plate in the X-ray machine, and a second plate will be lowered from the top to compress your breast. The technician will take a series of images and repeat the procedure on the other breast. Although you may feel slight discomfort during the compression, it shouldn’t last more than a few seconds.
When you need a mammogram, ask your doctor to refer you to Brandon Regional Hospital. We offer a comprehensive range of services, including orthopedics, a NICU, a Stroke Center, and an emergency room. Learn more by calling our Hillsborough County hospital at (888) 327-2636.