Health care

Your first mammogram: Here are five things to know


It is okay to feel anxious and overwhelmed before your first mammogram. Annual tests are often recommended for women over 40 and those who are at a higher risk. If this is your first screening for breast cancer, you are probably visiting Boise mammography center for a screening mammogram, which can help detect signs of the disease.

  1. You don’t have to worry about radiation. Yes, a mammogram will expose your body to a small dose of radiation, but that is nothing to worry about. Women usually avoid screenings because they fear the possible results and don’t often know what to expect. A mammogram is entirely safe and will not cause pain or damage to your breasts. During the test, your breasts will be compressed against the machine, which may trigger some discomfort that is nothing serious.
  2. Get your previous reports. If you have done mammograms in the past, your radiologist or doctor will want to see those images, not just the reports. A mammogram not only allows the doctor to find lumps and masses but also to look for changes in breast tissues. Also, if there is nothing to worry about, you may not need other tests.


  1. Do not wear makeup or deodorant. Deodorants, in particular, can interfere with the mammogram results. Make sure you avoid makeup on the day and wear something easy to remove. You will need to change before the mammogram. There is no need to fast or skip medications before the test.
  2. Talk to the technologist. If you have seen new changes in your breasts or have found a lump, let the technologist know. The pressure on your breasts during the test may seem uncomfortable, but the technologist will do everything to get the best images. Relax during the procedure and listen to suggestions to ease anxiety.
  3. You may have to wait for the results. Many screening centers give results within a couple of days, but you may need to wait for a week to get the images and reports of your mammogram. Do not fret during this time, and wait for your doctor before you start believing anything. Just because you have been asked to undergo screening doesn’t mean you have breast cancer.

Call your doctor if you have any concerns or pain in your breasts. Early diagnosis is the best way to deal with breast cancer, and a mammogram is a great start.