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GCMH offers tips for a better mammogram

October 29, 2011
Reinbeck Courier

Grundy County Memorial Hospital (GCMH) would like to encourage women to schedule their mammograms during the month of October, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

They offer the following information to help women feel at ease when preparing for their mammogram: Mammography is a specific type of imaging that uses a low-dose x-ray system to examine breasts. A mammography exam, called a mammogram, is used to aid in the diagnosis of breast disease. Mammography plays a central part in early detection of breast cancers because it can show changes in the breast up to 2 years before a patient or physician can feel them. Current guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the American Cancer Society, the American Medical Association, and the American College of Radiology recommend screening mammography every year for women, beginning at age 40. Research has shown that annual mammograms lead to early detection of breast cancers, when they are most curable and breast conservation therapies are available.

Grundy County Memorial Hospital has five experienced Mammography Technologists on staff to serve the patients needs. The day of your mammogram, the technologist will ask the patient to undress from the waist up, put on a mammogram cape, and stand next to the x-ray machine. Two flat surfaces will compress one breast first, then the other for a few seconds. Compression is necessary to produce the best pictures using the lowest amount of radiation possible. The patient will feel pressure on their breast as it is squeezed by the compression paddles. Some women with sensitive breasts may experience discomfort. Be sure to tell the technologist if pain occurs as compression is increased. If discomfort is significant, less compression will be used.

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GCMH offers some tips to ensure a clear mammogram:

On the day of your mammogram, do not use any deodorant, lotion, cream or powder on your underarms or breasts. These could interfere with a clear mammogram.

If your breasts are tender around the time of your period, schedule your mammogram for one week after your period ends.

If you have had mammograms at other facilities, have previous mammograms available to the radiologist at your current exam. Also bring a list of the places and dates of earlier mammograms, as well as biopsies and other breast treatments you received.

Before the exam, describe any breast symptoms or problems you are having.

If you do not hear from your healthcare provider within 10 days, consult him or her.

During the month of October, GCMH is recognizing Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Women scheduling a mammogram in the month of October will receive a free gift from the hospital. For more information about breast cancer and mammography or any of GCMH services please call 319-824-5421 or visit GCMH has contact information for patients without insurance. They are committed to helping all women take advantage of early detection.



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