What is a Mammogram

A diagnostic mammogram is an X-ray examination of the breasts. This examination is performed when your doctor suspects unusual signs or symptoms in one or both breasts, for example a lump, tenderness, and nipple discharge or skin changes.

A mammogram can indicate whether the changes in your breasts are benign or may require further medical attention and treatment.

It is recommended to schedule your mammogram one week after the start of your period. The breasts will not be as tender at this time which will minimise the discomfort or pain you experience.

Avoid wearing any deodorant, perfume or talcum powder on the day of your appointment because these substances may resemble shadows on your mammogram film.

Please be sure to bring your previous mammograms to your appointment for comparison.

The mammogram is performed by a specially trained radiographer. Our specially trained radiographer will explain the mammogram procedure. Each breast will be positioned and compressed between two special plates by the X-ray machine for a few seconds while images are taken.

While the examination may be uncomfortable and slightly painful it will last only a few seconds.

Multiple scientific studies have provided plenty of evidence that early diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer can save lives. Early detection increases the likelihood of a cancer being successfully treated and often allows for greater treatment options.

It is important to note that mammography does not detect all breast cancers and a normal mammogram does not mean that the lump can be ignored. In some circumstances, other diagnostic tests such as a breast ultrasound and fine need biopsy may be necessary to find out the cause of the lump.

After effects are rare. However, you may experience breast tenderness, bruising or splitting of the skin if your skin is fragile.

A standard mammography takes between 10-15 minutes. Some extra views may be performed which take longer.

If you have breast implants, please advise our practice prior to your appointment so that a longer appointment is scheduled.

The x-rays are taken by a radiographer who has received specialist training in the field of mammography. The mammogram is then read and interpreted by a radiologist who will provide your referring doctor with a report of your examination.

Mammograms are performed in our private radiology practice at Inverell.