Why you should schedule your mammogram today
The pandemic led to many women canceling or not scheduling their annual mammograms. If you haven’t yet gotten back on track with your regular screenings, there is no time like the present for making an appointment.
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women, and nearly one-third of all newly diagnosed cancers this year will be breast cancers, according to Breastcancer.org.
“These delays in screening can lead to delayed diagnosis, more advanced cases, health consequences and an increase in disparities among women experiencing health inequities—all valid reasons to schedule your mammogram today, if you haven’t already,” said Dr. Jewelia Wagner. “The good news is there are steps you can take to make your next mammogram more comfortable.”
If you have been reluctant to schedule your first or next mammogram, here are some tips for making the process more approachable and comfortable:
- Schedule your mammogram after your period. If you have breast swelling and tenderness related to your menstrual cycle, a mammogram will be more comfortable after it has subsided.
- Skip caffeine for the day. Caffeine can also increase breast sensitivity so wait until post-mammogram to enjoy your favorite flavor.
- Wear a two-piece outfit. Since you’ll need to undress from the waist up, it’s easier to wear two pieces (save the dress for another day).
- Make sure that you skip lotions, deodorant and perfume, which can make X-rays more difficult to read and require a follow-up.
- Talk to your technician ahead of time to share your questions and concerns. You can also request the same technician each time, if you find someone you connect with.