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A lot can happen in a year. Now’s the time to start moving forward again with regular health screenings like your annual mammogram — a screening that helps save hundreds of thousands of lives every year. Here’s what you should know to make your next mammogram as comfortable and easy as possible.
Now Is a Great Time to Schedule a Mammogram
Leading up to Breast Cancer Awareness Month, AdventHealth for Women is offering 3D mammograms for a self-pay cost of just $30 in September and October. However, if you have health insurance, your annual screening mammogram will likely not cost you anything. Most exams take 30 minutes or less, so take advantage of our online scheduling. Choose an imaging location near you with convenient hours that include weekend availability.
Why It’s Best Not to Delay Your Screening Mammogram
Lisa Minton, MD, a breast surgeon with AdventHealth in Altamonte Springs, offers this advice to women who may be reluctant to get a mammogram due to potential discomfort or the fear of getting a cancer diagnosis:
“First and foremost, if you’re experiencing any symptoms of concern, such as a lump, pain, nipple thickening or discharge, do not wait to schedule your mammogram,” says Dr. Minton. “Early detection of breast cancer is so important because it’s still the second-leading cause of cancer deaths among American women.”
“A mammogram allows for the earliest detection of breast cancer — up to two years before you or your doctor can feel a tumor. Catching breast cancer early allows treatment to begin right away, possibly before the cancer spreads and when therapies can be most effective,” she says.
Tips to Make Your Mammogram as Comfortable as Possible
With these tips in mind, you can enjoy a more comfortable mammogram experience.
Schedule Your Mammogram After Your Period
“If you’re still menstruating, try to schedule your mammogram the week after your period. This is the point where the estrogen in your breast tissue, which sometimes causes discomfort, is the lowest.”
Skip the Caffeine Before Your Screening
Opting for another beverage instead of coffee or tea could help ease discomfort too. “You should try to avoid caffeine for a few days leading up to your mammogram,” she says.
Speak Up During Your Screening
And during your screening, don’t be afraid to speak up if you’re not comfortable. “If you still experience pain during your exam, talk to your technologist about making an adjustment, which can easily make a difference.”
Understand Smarter Mammogram Technology
Dr. Minton also says that recent advancements in mammography allow for a more comfortable exam experience than you might think. “AdventHealth uses the latest technology, including the SmartCurve paddle that allows for less compression and greater comfort,” she says. “This advanced technology can allow for a quicker exam while providing greater peace of mind through clear and accurate results.”
We’re Taking Extra Precautions to Keep You Safe
At every AdventHealth location, additional safety measures are in place to keep you safe when you visit, including universal masking, temperature checks, separate care areas for symptomatic patients, enhanced sanitization and social distancing. Many locations also allow for remote check-in from your car.
We want you to feel empowered to take charge of your breast health, and getting your annual screening mammogram is a great place to start. With extra safety measures and the knowledge that mammograms are quick and easy to schedule, you can feel confident getting this lifesaving screening this year. Visit ScheduleYourMammo.com to book your exam at a location near you today.