Back to articles

Be Prepared: How to Get Ready for Your Mammogram

Breast Cancer Awareness, Women's Health

Most things go better with a little preparation. And mammograms are no exception.

Whether it's your first mammogram, or you've been getting the tests faithfully for years, these tips from the American Cancer Society can help the whole process go more smoothly:

Be consistent. Try to go to the same facility every time you get a mammogram. That way your images can be easily compared from year to year. But if you've had mammograms elsewhere, get the old images and bring them with you.

Schedule smart. If you're menstruating, try to avoid getting your mammogram the week before your period. Instead schedule a time for when your breasts aren't likely to be tender or swollen. That will help ease any discomfort and help get better pictures.

Don't wear deodorant the day of the exam. Some contain substances that can show up on x-rays as white spots.

Speak up. Describe any breast symptoms or problems to the technologist doing the mammogram. Also bring up any medical history that could affect your breast cancer risk, such as hormone use or breast cancer in your family.

Ask when to expect the results. If you don't hear back, don't assume the results are normal. Get back in touch or ask your provider if they’ve received your results.

Stay on top of screening

Be sure to talk with your doctor about the best mammogram schedule for you. Here's what the American Cancer Society advises for women at average risk of breast cancer in the following age ranges:

  • 40 to 44. You have the option to start screening with yearly mammograms.
  • 45 to 54. Get yearly mammograms.
  • 55 and older. You can switch to a mammogram every other year or continue with yearly screening for as long as you're in good health.

Your mammogram options at Adventist Health Portland

Adventist Health Portland offers two convenient locations where you can have your mammogram done in a friendly, comfortable environment: at our southeast Portland health campus and at Gresham Station Imaging. Both locations offer traditional mammography and enhanced 3D mammography.

To schedule your mammogram at either location, call 503-251-6137.