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Preparing for Your Mammogram Services

Most women have screening mammograms and do not require a written order from their doctors.

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Bring Your Referrals or Doctor’s Orders

Most women have screening mammograms and do not require a written order from their doctors. However, if you do have a written order from your doctor, please bring it with you.

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Diagnostic Mammograms

A written order is required for a diagnostic mammogram, which may also be called a problem-solving or consultative mammogram. A diagnostic mammogram is an X-ray examination used to evaluate a woman or man with:

  • Signs or symptoms of breast disease
  • A personal history of breast cancer
  • A personal history of biopsy-proven benign breast disease

When is the Best Time to Schedule My Mammogram?

Schedule your mammogram when your breasts will be the least tender. During mammography, the breast is pressed between two clear plastic plates for a few seconds. This gives a clear picture with the least amount of X-rays. But it may be uncomfortable, and a few women experience pain.

If you have sensitive breasts, try having your mammogram at a time of the month when your breasts will be the least tender. Try to avoid the week right before your period. This will help lessen discomfort. If you are worried about discomfort, you may want to take a mild over-the-counter pain reliever about an hour before the mammogram.

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Previous Mammogram Films & Reports

Your prior mammogram films and reports are needed for comparison. If your prior mammogram was not performed at the CMC Breast Center, you will need to make arrangements to obtain your films and reports. 

Your mammography films are important for comparison to identify any changes in your breast tissue. If your prior films are not available at the time your mammogram is performed, the interpretation of your films may be delayed or you may be required to return for additional tests.

Clinical Breast Exams

By having a mammogram, you have taken an important step to promote your good health. If you have not also had a recent clinical breast examination performed by your personal doctor, please schedule an appointment. Your doctor or another healthcare provider should examine your breasts as part of your regular physical examination. Monthly breast self-examination is also important.

Female nurse explains to a patient what she can expect as part of her MRI exam.

What to Do on the Day of Your Mammogram

On the day of your mammogram:

  1. Wear a two-piece outfit so you have to remove only your top.
  2. Do not use deodorant, talcum powder, or lotion under your arms or your breasts. These products can show up on the X-ray.
  3. Bring the name, address, and phone number of your doctor or other health care provider.
  4. Bring your insurance information.
  5. Bring a list of the places and dates of mammograms, biopsies, or other breast treatments that you have had.
  6. If you may have trouble hearing or understanding instructions or need assistance, please consider bringing a friend with you.
  7. For questions or general information, call 931-459-7040.

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