Recommendations for getting your first screening mammogram
HAYS, KS – Mammograms help save lives by detecting breast cancer early. They can reduce the risk of dying from breast cancer by up to 40%.
HaysMed, along with the American College of Radiology and Society of Breast Imaging recommend women get an annual screening mammogram starting at age 40 or earlier if you are having symptoms or have a family history.
Your first mammogram is your baseline mammogram. It establishes what is normal for your breasts and then future mammograms can be compared to your baseline to look for changes.
Even though most patients are aware of the benefits of a mammogram, they may still be nervous about getting one. Breast Care Navigator Sarah Fischer says most patients are “pleasantly surprised” after getting their first mammogram. “They find it wasn’t near as uncomfortable as they had worried it might be,” she added.
Preparing for a mammogram
Before a mammogram, patients should avoid deodorant or powder. If you have any breast tenderness, you may want to consider scheduling your appointment during a time of the month when they are less tender.
What should patients expect during the mammogram?
The receptionist greets the patient before the patient goes to a changing area. You will be asked to remove your clothing from the waist up and put on a special gown that opens in the front. You will then step into the exam room. You and the female mammography technologist will be the only ones in the room.
The technologist will then place your breast on a platform and apply compression before taking at least two images of each breast.
“We always go slow and check to make sure they are doing OK,” said mammography supervisor Leah Rhoades “Compression is essential in order to obtain the high-quality images that detect early cancers. The mammogram should feel “tight but tolerable.”
HaysMed uses 3D imaging of the breast which can detect finer details of the breast itself. While your breast is compressed the x-ray arm makes a quick arc over the breast taking a series of images at several angles. It takes approximately 10-15 seconds to acquire each image.
The entire process from the time you arrive to when you leave is between 10 and 20 minutes.
After the mammogram
You will be taken back to your dressing room where you can change your clothes, and then you are free to leave.
A radiologist will review your mammogram and issue a report to your provider.
Results will be available in your Meditech MHealth Patient Portal and mailed to you within 24-48 hours. At the end of each report, there is an assessment and recommendation.
We have several ways you can schedule a mammogram.
- You can call 785-623-6565
- If you have a Meditech MHealth patient portal account, you can log in and schedule an appointment. https://rb.gy/cfjfhj
- If you don’t have a Meditech MHealth patient portal account, you can create one and then schedule your mammogram.
If you have questions about mammograms, please call the Breast Care Center at 623-5114, talk with your healthcare provider or go to haysmed.com/breastcarecenter.