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Make your next mammogram more comfortable
Mammograms are a woman's best chance at detecting breast cancer early, when it's often easier to treat. The screening can be a little uncomfortable. But remember: Your breasts will be compressed for just a few seconds at a time. And the whole test takes only about 20 minutes. These tips can help make it easier to get through.
For a more comfortable mammogram
Time it right. Avoid the week before or during your period, when breasts may be more sensitive. Ask about padding. Some centers offer pads that can help cushion the breasts.
Relax your mind. Try a body scan or a soothing visualization.
Breathe through it. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth slowly. Speak up. Tell the person performing your mammogram about any pain.
Sources: American Cancer Society; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; HelpGuide
Talk with your provider about your risk for breast cancer and a screening schedule that's right for you.
- American Cancer Society. "How to Prepare for a Mammogram." https://www.cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer/screening-tests-and-early-detection/mammograms/mammograms-what-to-know-before-you-go.html.
- American Cancer Society. "Recommendations for the Early Detection of Breast Cancer." https://www.cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer/screening-tests-and-early-detection/american-cancer-society-recommendations-for-the-early-detection-of-breast-cancer.html.
- Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention. "What is a Mammogram?" https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/basic_info/mammograms.htm.
- HelpGuide. "Relaxation Techniques for Stress Relief." https://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/relaxation-techniques-for-stress-relief.htm#9/7/2021.
- Hologic. "Mammopad Breast Cushion. https://www.hologic.com/hologic-products/breast-health-solutions/mammopad-breast-cushion.