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7 Frequently Asked Questions About the Mammogram Procedure, Answered

7 Frequently Asked Questions About the Mammogram Procedure, Answered

A mammogram is an x-ray image of your breast tissues. Doctors use this imaging test to detect early signs of breast cancer. If your doctor recently advised you to get one, here are the answers to the frequently asked questions about the mammogram procedure, including a little discussion about mammogram price:

Is a Mammogram Painful?

Upon learning their need to undergo a mammogram, many women worry about pain. You, too, might have heard horror stories about how a machine will “squeeze” your breast so much that it hurts.

But experts assure us that while the mammogram procedure might be uncomfortable, it’s not generally painful.

Why Do Some Women Say It’s Painful?

If a mammogram only generally brings discomfort, why do some women say it hurts?

According to reports, how a woman feels depends on several factors, like:

  • The technologist’s skill
  • The size of the breast
  • How much your breasts need to be pressed
  • Your pain tolerance
  • Your menstrual cycle (breasts tend to be more sensitive during or right before the monthly period)

How Does the Mammography Machine “Squeeze” the Breast?

The mammogram procedure is different from the chest x-ray we’re highly familiar with.

The mammography machine has two main parts: a flat surface where you’ll place one breast at a time, and the compression paddle, another flat surface that will press the breast.

mammogram price

During compression, the machine releases an x-ray beam that creates the breast tissue images. After obtaining the “top view” image, the machine changes the angle, so it can take the “side view” image of the breast.

Compression is necessary for two reasons: It spreads out the breast tissues, and it reduces the risk of movement, which may blur the image.

There will be a total of four images: one top view and one side view of each breast.

What Does a Normal Mammogram Result Look Like?

After the mammogram procedure, the technologist and doctor will look at the images.

The breast is usually composed of less dense fatty tissues. These fatty tissues often show as dark or grey.

mammogram procedure

Meanwhile, denser tissues – such as calcites and cancer – appear bright, solid, and white.

Mammogram Price: Is It Expensive?

At this point, you must be curious about the mammogram price. Sources say prices range from 1,500 PHP to 5,000 PHP. Of course, most facilities offer a discount to senior women.

What Are Some Tips for Getting a Mammogram?

Are you going to undergo a mammogram procedure? The following tips might help:

  • As much as possible, choose a facility that will most likely always have a mammography service. Having all your mammogram procedures in one facility makes the retrieval of records easier.
  • Don’t use an antiperspirant or deodorant on the day of the mammogram procedure. They might show up as bright, white spots in the x-ray image.
  • Since you need to be naked from the waist up, consider wearing a t-shirt or blouse and pants. Doctors will provide you with a gown for cover.
  • Don’t schedule your mammogram procedure a week before or during your period. Remember that breasts are usually more sensitive around those times.

What Do You Need to Do After Receiving the Results?

If you have normal results, continue doing regular mammography as recommended by your doctor. Mammogram results are best compared with previous images. That way, doctors can note significant changes.

Now, if the doctor detects denser tissues, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have cancer. They might recommend another mammogram procedure along with other tests to confirm the diagnosis.

Key Takeaways

A mammogram procedure produces x-ray images of the breast to detect early signs of cancer. In this imaging test, the radiologist “flattens” the breast with the use of a mammography machine consisting of a flat surface and compression paddle. A mammogram generally doesn’t cause pain, but it may be a little uncomfortable for most women.

Depending on where you get the service, a mammogram price may range from 1,500 PHP to 5,000 PHP.

Learn more about Breast Cancer here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Video: Mammogram for breast cancer — What to expect, https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/mammogram/multimedia/mammogram/vid-20084742, Accessed September 28, 2021

A Radiologist Explains What to Expect at Your First Mammogram, https://healthblog.uofmhealth.org/what-to-expect-at-first-mammogram-perfcon, Accessed September 28, 2021What to

Expect at Your First Mammogram, https://www.cedars-sinai.org/blog/what-to-expect-at-your-first-mammogram.html#:~:text=During%20the%20mammogram%2C%20you%20and,be%20taken%20from%20different%20positions, Accessed September 28, 2021

Tips for Getting a Mammogram, https://www.cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer/screening-tests-and-early-detection/mammograms/mammograms-what-to-know-before-you-go.html, Accessed September 28, 2021

What Is a Mammogram?, https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/basic_info/mammograms.htm, Accessed September 28, 2021

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Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. Updated 3 days ago
Fact Checked by Cesar Beltran