A mammogram can reveal early stages of breast cancer up to two years before it can appear during a physical exam.
Digital mammography is performed using a low-dose X-ray system to examine the breasts, and the images are captured electronically. The examination usually involves at least two images of each breast — one taken from the top and one from the side.
During a mammogram, a technician places your breast in a rectangular mammography unit with a paddle that compresses the breast. This steadies the breast but can cause some mild discomfort. It is important to hold very still while the picture is being taken to minimize the chance of a blurry image. The entire procedure usually takes around 30 minutes.
The ideal time for a mammogram is one week after your period. In preparation for the exam, please remember these tips:
- Don't wear deodorant, lotion, or talcum powder under the arms or on the breasts. That's because deodorant may look like calcium deposits on the X-rays.
- Try to avoid scheduling a mammogram the week before your period if your breasts are tender during that time.
Although most people with breast cancer are female, the disease can affect men. Visit our health library to learn more about men and breast cancer.
Leading-Edge Mammography at Montefiore
Montefiore is a leader in mammographic screening and breast imaging, offering the highest quality mammograms and the latest diagnostic tests, such as these: