Cancer Information

Mammography

Mammography is an x-ray exam of breast tissue. The image produced is called a mammogram. A mammogram can help detect problems with your breasts, such as cysts or cancer.

Before Your Test

  • Schedule the test for one week after your period, when your breasts are less tender.

  • Make sure your clinic gets your last mammogram if it was done somewhere else. This lets the doctor compare the two.

  • On the morning of your test, wash your breasts and underarms, but don’t use deodorant, powder, or perfume.

  • Wear a top that you can remove easily.

Technician and patient

During Your Test

  • You will need to undress from the waist up.

  • The technologist will position your breast to get the best test results.

  • Each of your breasts will be compressed. This helps get the most complete x-ray image.

After Your Test

  • More x-rays are sometimes needed. You’ll be called to schedule them.

  • You should be notified of your test results in writing. Ask about this on the day of your appointment.

  • Have mammograms as often as your healthcare provider recommends. Also be sure to do regular breast self-exams.

Let the technologist know if:

  • You’re pregnant or think you may be.

  • You have breast implants.

  • You have any scars or moles on or near your breasts.

  • You’ve had a breast biopsy or surgery.

  • You’re breastfeeding.