Scheduling Your Mammogram

  • Personal and family history of breast, ovarian cancer, fallopian tube cancer, or peritoneal cancer
  • Known carrier or family history of BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations
  • A previous breast biopsy with a high-risk lesion (like atypical hyperplasia)
  • A history of radiation therapy between the ages of 10–30
  • When you make your appointment, tell the scheduler if you have breast implants.
  • Try to avoid a mammogram the week before or during your period when the breasts can feel more tender.
  • Let your doctor know if you are pregnant; we generally avoid screening mammograms during pregnancy.
  • Diagnostic mammogram: a mammogram that is more focused on something that looks abnormal.
  • Ultrasound: ultrasonography uses sound waves to produce pictures of the breast.
  • Fine needle aspiration (FNA) or core-needle biopsy: breast tissue or fluid is sampled and removed with a hollow needle with local anesthesia (the area is usually numbed). The needle for an FNA is very thin. These procedures are usually done in clinic.
  • Surgical biopsy: usually done in an operating room under more anesthesia. A small amount of tissue is removed from the breast and analyzed for cancer cells.

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