Top 10 Things Your Mammography Technologist Wishes You Knew:
1. We love our jobs – for what it means for each of our patients: a chance to find cancer at its earliest, most curable stage.
2. We don’t love the compression part – and we know it’s not your favorite thing to have done. Compression is key to separating out tissue – so important, even though not loved!
3. Part of our job description is being compassionate and understanding. If you need a little coaxing or reassurance just let us know. We are happy to work with you. Our end goal is always to get the best possible images.
4. It may feel like we are pulling your breasts off your chest, but trust us. We use extra care in getting your breasts positioned. As our radiologists like to say, “We can’t find breast cancer if the breast tissue is not on the image!” Remember: Breast implants are not an issue. We do mammograms on women with implants multiple times a day. Just let us know, as it does change how we do your test.
5. Speak up! If you have concerns, please let us know at the start. Are you unsure of something about your breast? Afraid to tell someone about a change or a lump? Now is the time for being proactive. You can be sure, there is not much about breasts we have not been questioned about!
6.Relax! We promise to take good care of you. The more relaxed you are, the easier it is for us to get you in the right position.
7. Lotions can be a problem, for more than one reason. Sometimes they have ingredients than can show up on your mammogram, and slippery breasts are terribly hard to keep in good position!
8. Deodorants are also a no-no. They have little metals in them that show up on the images. But no worries if you forgot and put it on – we have wipes to make things right!
9. Do not be alarmed if we come in and need extra views. Sometimes there is something with the image that needs repeating, like motion (which blurs the details the radiologist is looking for) or missing some breast tissue (remember, we want to get all of your tissue on those films!). Sometimes our radiologists are requesting a diagnostic study because of something on the initial images. Don’t panic! Most times these extra views show us what we need and you can go back to routine screening. See this video if you have more questions about abnormal mammograms: https://youtu.be/mqEbx2wiaIQ
10. Spread the word! Tell your friends and loved ones that you have taken a healthy step in the right direction by having your screening. Sharing your experience may be the incentive for someone else to get the screening they need.