UnityPoint Health - Des Moines

How to Prepare

Before scheduling a mammogram, the American Cancer Society (ACS) and other specialty organizations recommend that you discuss any new findings or problems in your breasts with your healthcare provider. In addition, inform your healthcare provider of any prior surgeries, hormone use, and family or personal history of breast cancer. Do not schedule your mammogram for the week before your period if your breasts are usually tender during this time. The best time for a mammogram is one week following your period.

Always inform your healthcare provider or x-ray technologist if there is any possibility that you are pregnant.

It is also recommended that you:

  • Do not wear deodorant, talcum powder or lotion under your arms or on your breasts the day of the exam. These can appear on the mammogram as calcium spots.
  • Describe any breast symptoms or problems to the technologist performing the exam.
  • If possible, obtain prior mammograms and make them available to the radiologist at the time of your current exam.
  • Ask when your results will be available do not assume the results are normal if you do not hear from your healthcare provider or the mammography facility.