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Mammography is a specific type of imaging that uses a low-dose x-ray system to examine the breasts. It is used as a screening tool to detect early breast cancer in women experiencing no symptoms and to detect and diagnose breast disease in women experiencing symptoms such as lump, pain or nipple discharge.
Before scheduling a mammogram, it is recommended that you discuss any new findings or problems in your breasts with your doctor. Also inform your doctor of any prior surgeries, hormone use, and family or personal history of breast cancer.
Do not schedule your mammogram for the week before your period (menstrual cycle) since breasts are usually very sensitive at this time. The best time for a mammogram is one week following your period.
Always inform your doctor or x-ray technologist if there is any possibility that you are pregnant.
Do not use deodorant, talcum powder or lotion under your arms or on your breasts on the day of the exam. These can appear on the mammogram as calcium spots.
Describe any breast symptoms or problems to the technologist performing the exam.
If possible, obtain prior mammograms and make them available to the radiologist at the time of the current exam.
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