Whether you are due for a routine mammogram or have found a suspicious lump in your breast during your monthly examination, you want to make sure you have the most accurate results from your test. Before and during the test, use the following tips for ensuring that your images come out clear.
Schedule the Test for When You Are Not Menstruating
Before you pick up the phone to schedule your mammogram, look at your calendar to figure out when you will be menstruating. If you do not usually have a regular period, try to estimate when your next cycle will begin. Then, mark off those days as ones you cannot have your test.
If you schedule your mammogram during the time you are menstruating, the changes in your breast will do more than just make you uncomfortable. During your period, your glands become swollen. When the images are taken, these engorged glands could interfere with seeing minor changes in your breasts that may be cause for concern.
If you unexpectedly start your period on the day for your mammogram, see if you could possibly reschedule the test for a few days later. Rescheduling the test past your starting date will give your breast glands time to return to normal.
Avoid Using Any Beauty Products on or Around Your Breasts
Some beauty products contain low levels of metallic compounds. If these compounds are present on your skin during the test, the mammogram machine may pick them up and show them on your images. The images would then show a false positive, making it necessary to repeat the test.
On the day of your mammogram, take a shower but do not use any beauty products on or around your breasts. These products include lotions, creams, and powders that could interfere with the test results.
Also, avoid using any special soaps or body wash. Instead, shower using an unscented, uncolored soap to reduce the possibility of contaminating the imaging results. Rinse yourself off thoroughly to remove any residual soap.
If you simply must use deodorant, refrain from applying it until after the test. Since the mammogram also takes pictures of the lymph nodes under your arms, you want to keep this area clean for the test as well.
Using the above tips can help you achieve clearer visualization and better results from your mammogram. For more information about preparing for the test and what to expect, speak with the technician who will be performing your 3D mammogram for further guidance.