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Jyoti Deonarine (RR) Mammographer Pink Hibiscus Breast Health Specialists

Jyoti Priya Deonarine

Screening for breast cancer means looking for signs of breast cancer in all women, even if they have no symptoms. The goal of screening is to catch cancers early. Early-stage cancers are easier to treat than later-stage cancers, and the chance of survival is higher. Routine screening for breast cancer lowers one’s risk of dying of breast cancer.

Every day at Pink Hibiscus Breast Health Specialist Centre many patients are booked to have their Breast Screening done, we are always bombarded by calls from patients –

“How to prepare for a Mammogram?”

To prepare for a mammogram only takes a few simple steps and a few helpful tips :-

When is the right time to schedule your appointment?

Your breast screening should be scheduled when your breasts are least tender; for women who are not into menopause, this is usually during the week after your menstrual period.

Can I have a mammogram if I am breastfeeding?

Lactating breasts tend to be dense because they are filled with milk which can make interpreting mammograms more difficult. Therefore it is recommended for women to completely finish lactating before having their mammograms done. If a patient is symptomatic they can still be seen by a physician and a breast ultrasound can be performed in the interim.

What should I bring?

It is always advisable for patients to walk with their previous imaging and reports (mammograms and breast ultrasounds) for a comparative study to be performed and any changes can be noted.

What can I wear?

Patients are advised to wear a two-piece outfit, so it’s easier to remove your top and bra for your screening examination.

On the day of the exam, patients are advised to avoid using :-

Powder

Lotions

Creams

Perfumes

Deodorants under their arms, breast and chest area. Some patients ask “why?”. It is simply because certain products contain microscopic materials and particles which can mimic microcalcifications (specks of calcium) on a mammogram. In a previous article mention was made that the morphology of calcifications is an important factor in deciding whether they are typically benign or not, therefore by not applying these products it reduces this false negative report and there is no confusion by the radiologist reporting on the images.

To ensure this is done, cleansing wipes are provided to remove deodorant or any other products applied to the skin in the area of examination.

Can I eat?

Yes! You can absolutely have your regular meals when attending your breast screening appointment.

So there you have it, some simple tips to guide you with your preparation when you have scheduled your breast screening appointment.

Don’t be afraid of a mammogram. If you know what will happen and how to get yourself ready for the procedure, your fears will ease. It’s normal to feel anxious, but there’s no need to be so afraid that you put off the process. A mammogram can save your life.

Jyoti Deonarine (RR)

Mammographer

Pink Hibiscus Breast Health Specialists