What to Expect During Your First Mammogram

so about that mammogram I've been

putting it off for weeks just like you

we're busy people I'm a mom of two I

just don't have the time plus I am a

little nervous I have no idea what to

expect but the truth is it's just smart

early detection does save lives so

here's what I did I made myself an

appointment at Johns Hopkins medical

imaging I went online to my chart I

picked the date time and location so

simple so I'm going and you're coming

with me here at Johns Hopkins we support

that women at average risk for breast

cancer should start annual mammograms at

age 40 we think that's really important

because we know that annual mammograms

has the greatest chance to detect breast

cancer early and when we detect breast

cancer early through screening we know

that that's when it's the most treatable

have an appointment okay I just need you

to sign in right here on this computer

okay we know that this type of exam can

make women nervous from the moment you

walk in the door we aim to make you

comfortable okay all right


thank you everything you're gonna use

right here in your dressing area caps

down everything's gonna be to you jump

away stuff off we also have a row for

you putting on - honey - holder chilly

okay and did you have any dealer at your

pattern at all - no I was told not to

wear perfect wonderful well I'm gonna

have you go ahead and get cheese I'll be

right back with you in a few okay okay

sounds good thank you every single

technologist is trained and specialized

in this type of exam and that is all we

do priority we're gonna start with the

right side okay I'm just gonna come

around you here okay I'm gonna have you

take your right arm I just want you to

grab right here for me bend your elbow

and I want you to lean in on this corner

perfect just gonna come underneath just

after doing mammography for many many

years we are trained in little tiny

tricks and how to move the patient's

breast around how to move them in

perfect position how to compress them a

little differently so that they are very

very comfortable but it's going to be

very having a really experienced

technologist performing the mammogram is

very important for us the positioning I

can't emphasize enough is crucial to us

being able to interpret the mammogram

appropriately are you doing okay yes

all right I'm just gonna ask you to hold

still just like that for me we're gonna

take a quick picture and just hold your



when a woman gets a mammogram for total

pictures are taken two pictures of each

breast each of those pictures on a 2d

mammogram is just one picture to look at

on a 3d image you're able to scroll

through that image and see multiple

layers within that one image so a 3d

image really helps clarify for us as

radiologists whether finding might just

be overlapping tissue or whether there

could be a mass under there you may

breathe so bad doing okay

yes thank you fabulous we're actually

Hopkins all of our breast imagers are

breast imaging specialists and that's

important because it's well known that

radiologists who exclusively read breast

imaging and read a higher volume of

breast imaging have a higher cancer

detection rate and that means that we're

picking up more cancers

what was that worried about I have no

idea it was so fast so easy it was just

a little squish for about four seconds

the tech told me everything that was

going to happen which was awesome if

there's any additional findings on your

mammogram we will actually call you to

let you know so we can bring you back in

four and just remembering that you might

need to after a patient has their

mammogram to spread by the radiologist

usually the next day in 90% of cases the

images look great and normal and the

patient was notified by mail in about

10% of cases we need to clarify an

additional finding so the patient used

to come back to return for additional

imaging once the radiologist has read

through report there is also going to

your doctor within 24 hours a screening

mammogram takes less than five minutes

not that uncomfortable and it saves

lives you know what I could totally do

that once a year it feels good to know

what's going on with my health