Mammograms use an x-ray image to screen for signs of breast cancer. Mammograms are important as they can help diagnose breast cancer early. This early detection lowers the number of breast cancer-related deaths. There are two types of mammograms that are performed routinely. A screening mammogram is done when there are no noticeable issues with the breasts.
A diagnostic mammogram is done when there are concerns about the breasts. During a diagnostic mammogram, more images are taken in order to determine what is causing the issue that the doctor is concerned about. It is typically recommended that a woman should get her first mammogram after the age of 40.
However, if you are at risk for developing breast cancer you may want to start a screening routine at an earlier age. Here are some steps that you should follow before going to have a mammogram done.
1. No Deodorant
Most of us want to make sure that we smell good. Wearing deodorant is one of the ways that we can make sure that our underarms stay smelling good. However, when you are going for a mammogram it is important to make sure that you do not put on your daily deodorant.
The reason for this is because the aluminum that is found in deodorant can actually alter the results of a mammogram. On a mammogram, the deodorant will show up as white spots. These white spots look just like cancer spots. While you do not apply deodorant directly on the breasts, a mammogram takes images from under the arms as well.
If you do wear antiperspirant before your mammogram your technologist will ask you to wash it off so they can take a clearer picture. Many offices that provide mammograms will have wet wipes in the changing room so that you can wipe off your deodorant before your screening.