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Why You Should Get a Mammogram

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By Dena Putnam, RT (R) (M), Director of Imaging Services

October 2, 2013

      October is breast cancer awareness month, and all women should stop and ask themselves when their last mammogram was.  All women age 40 and over should get a mammogram yearly, and if there is a strong family history of breast cancer, some women need to start at an earlier age than that. If you are a male you are not excluded from breast cancer. Men die of breast cancer every year, so if you also feel a lump, please see a doctor. 

      We do mammograms as a prevention to screen breasts to catch the cancer at its earliest stages.  We can detect a cancer when it is as tiny as a grain of salt.  You cannot feel a breast cancer lump through a self-exam until it is the size of a pea or larger. If a breast cancer is caught at its earliest stage, your survival rate is so much higher.

    If you are coming for your first mammogram, here are some helpful tips to make your mammogram more pleasant:

  1. If you still have a menstrual cycle, schedule your mammogram 6 to 10 days after the first day of your period. Your breasts are less tender at this time.
  2. Cut back on caffeine 2 days before your test. Sometimes this will help.
  3. If your breasts are extremely tender, you can take Tylenol, if permitted by your doctor, one hour before your exam to help make it more comfortable.
  4. Do not use deodorant the day of your test.  This can cause small artifacts on the screen, and they can be mistaken for small calcifications. Bring your deodorant with you, and put it on afterwards.

    Last year at Trinity Hospital Twin City we purchased a new state of the art digital mammography unit. The average screening mammogram only takes 15 minutes to do.  If you have a doctor's order, we can usually get you scheduled for your test within a week.  We have a certified radiologist who is excellent in his field.  We also do breast biopsies under ultrasound and in mammography.  We have caught so many breast cancers just this year in their early stages, and hopefully saved many lives, so please don't put your mammogram off. To make an appointment, call 740-922-7405 and have a doctor’s order please.

     Be sure to attend our special In the Pink health fair, walk by candlelight and breast cancer awareness and education event on Thursday, October 15th, 2015, beginning at 5pm. Visit our calendar of events on the hospital home page and click on October 15th for more information.

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