Breast cancer is a serious health concern for women, however, it can often be treated successfully. Effectively treating breast cancer is often much easier when the cancer is detected while still in its smallest and earliest stages before it has been given the opportunity to spread. This is why keeping up with regular breast cancer screening appointments is so critical. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we wanted to discuss how women should prepare for an annual breast exam.
We agree with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ (ACOG) recommendation that all women should undergo an annual mammogram starting at age 40. This includes women who have undergone cosmetic breast procedures like breast enhancement surgery. Some women, including those with a family history of breast cancer or other factors that could potentially increase their breast cancer risk, may benefit from starting around age 35.
To help women get the most out of their breast cancer screenings, we have provided the following tips for how to prepare for the appointment:
- If possible, go to the same practice for screening each year so that the results of previous exams can be easily accessed for the sake of comparison.
- Avoid scheduling a mammogram during a time when the breasts are tender or swollen (like just before a menstrual period) to help reduce potential discomfort during screening.
- Wear a comfortable two-piece outfit (not a dress) to the appointment.
- Don’t apply deodorant or antiperspirant on the day of the breast exam, as some of these products contain substances that can show up on an x-ray and affect the result of the screening.
Our hope is that these tips will be able to help women feel more prepared and knowledgeable heading into their next breast cancer screening appointment. For more information or to request a gynecology consultation appointment, please contact Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett. You can also follow us on Facebook for additional news, health tips, and much more. And check out our full-service med spa, MadEmEl Medical Aesthetics on Instagram.