If you have never had a mammogram before, you likely have a lot of questions. Here are the most frequently asked questions about mammograms that women want to know before they come into our office. If you would like to schedule a free consultation with our Buffalo doctors, please give our office a call today!
When Do I Need My First Mammogram?
When you turn 45, it is time to get ready to have annual mammograms for the next ten years. Once you turn 55, you can usually opt to have it done every other year.
Sometimes women will need mammograms at a younger age if there was something abnormal about their routine breast examination with their gynecologist. Women who are 25 and older will receive an annual breast exam at their annual gynecological checkup. If they feel a lump or abnormal tissue, they will likely send you for a mammogram.
What Does a Mammogram Find?
There are six answers you can get back from mammograms. The first result of 0 would be that the scan was inconclusive. You will likely need further imaging if this result comes back for you.
If you get a 1 for your result, that means your scan came back normal. You would be all cleared to return again a year or so later.
When you get a 2 for your result, that means that there were findings that were benign. This is technically also a result that is negative for cancer.
Results that say 3 mean that your findings are likely benign but that you will need to come back for a follow-up to retest in a shorter time frame. This is still a low chance that your results are cancerous.
A result of 4 is one that has suspicious findings. You will need to receive a biopsy to rule out cancer. A category 4 result breaks down into subcategories that come with a percentage that denotes the risk of cancer.
A result of 5 means that the chances of the abnormal findings were very high and that you are strongly recommended to receive a biopsy.
If you receive a result of 6, that means you have already had a biopsy and that this scan is confirming that you have malignant findings. These are usually done when you are already receiving cancer treatment.
Are Mammograms Painful?
You have likely heard anecdotes from friends and family members about their mammograms. They may have complained that it is very uncomfortable and unpleasant. We know that this is a common perception of mammograms.
If this makes you nervous about getting one, just know that not everyone is going to experience pain and discomfort during their mammograms. We have patients who don’t really feel much at all.
There are some things that will impact whether this is an unpleasant experience for you. If you are still menstruating and you are in the few weeks before your period, it can mean you are experiencing sore breasts which will likely mean that this won’t be a very comfortable experience.
Know that the pain is temporary and normal. This temporary pain can give you a lot of answers about your health.
Call Our Buffalo Doctors Today
If you need to schedule a mammogram or want to know more about them, please do not wait to give our office a call. We have been helping women in Buffalo get the health information that they need for many years. We can schedule a free consultation for you when you call us today.