Top Mammogram Myths
Myth: Mammograms are painful.
Fact: Mammograms may be uncomfortable, but should not be painful. With the transition to digital mammography, the level of discomfort you experience should be much less due to the new design of the compression paddles. The paddles flex with your body, applying pressure only where needed. In addition, digital exams are quicker, and the compression time is less.
Compression is important, because:
- It spreads the breast tissue more evenly for better visualization of the anatomy and potential abnormalities.
- It lowers radiation dose, since a thinner amount of breast tissue is imaged.
- It immobilizes the breast to prevent blurring of the image caused by motion.
Tips for a more comfortable mammogram:
- Schedule your mammogram 10 to 14 days after the start of your menstrual cycle; the breasts are usually less tender.
- Avoid caffeine a week before your mammogram; it can make your breasts tender.
- If you experience pain, inform the technologist ‒ some simple repositioning may help. Our friendly staff members are sensitive to your needs and want to make your experience as comfortable as possible.
Myth: The radiation from a mammogram can cause cancer.
Fact: Mammograms are very safe. Digital mammography uses the lowest radiation dose required to produce clear and precise exam images.
Myth: Mammograms cost too much.
Fact: Many insurance companies cover the cost of a screening mammogram, if you meet the criteria. Information about coverage of mammograms is available by calling 352-253-3700.
Myth: A mammogram takes too long; I have no time.
Fact: Exams usually take less time with digital mammography, and you are typically in and out for a screening in less than 30 minutes. You can schedule a same or next-day appointment for your convenience.