Top 6 reasons why women don’t get mammograms

Top 6 reasons why women don’t get mammograms

Imaging technology has come a long way since analog mammography was first introduced over 40 years ago, and today's digital innovations have made vast improvements to this life-saving equipment.  This is why Florida Hospital and Florida Radiology Imaging (FRi) are providing women of Central Florida access to digital mammography - the most powerful tool in the prevention and early detection of breast cancer.  In addition, they count on a team of radiologists, specially-trained in breast imaging to ensure the most accurate diagnosis.

Let's talk about it: Top 6 reasons why women don't get mammograms

1. A mammogram takes too long; I don't have the time. Florida Hospital and FRi offer weekend and after-hour appointments at some locations and they can schedule your appointment same or next day for your convenience. Exams usually take less time with digital mammography, and you are typically in and out for a screening mammogram in less than 30 minutes.In addition, there are 10 convenient locations throughout Central Florida offering upfront or valet parking to make the process even faster.

2. Mammograms cost too much. Many insurance companies will cover the cost of a screening mammogram if you meet guidelines.  Also, low-cost or free mammograms are offered through national programs, community organizations and the Florida Hospital Breast Cancer Care Fund.

3. Mammograms are painful. Mammograms may be uncomfortable but should not be painful. With the transition to digital mammography, the level of discomfort you experience should be less due to the new design of the compression paddles. The paddles flex with your body applying pressure only where needed. In addition, digital exams are quicker, the compression time is less.    

Reasons compression is important:

  • It spreads the breast tissue more evenly for better visualization of anatomy and potential abnormalities.
  • It lowers radiation dose since a thinner amount of breast tissue is imaged
  • It immobilizes the breast to prevent blurring of the images caused by motion

Tips for a more comfortable mammogram:

  • Schedule your mammogram 10-14 days after you start your menstrual cycle; the breasts are usually less tender.
  • Avoid caffeine a week before your mammogram; it can make the breasts tender.
  • If you experience pain, inform the technologist - some simple repositioning may help. Our friendly staff members are sensitive to your needs and want to make your experience as comfortable as possible.

4. Fear of finding something. Eight out of 10 breast lumps are not cancerous. See a physician immediately if you discover a lump or change on your breasts. Computer-aided detection (CAD) helps our sub-specialized radiologists to be certain of their findings, make recommendations for further studies and talk with referring physicians.  If cancer is detected, our Breast Care Coordinators provide you with a continual source of support throughout your entire cancer journey.

5. The radiation from a mammogram can cause cancer.  Digital mammography, offered at all 10 Florida Hospital and FRi locations, uses the lowest radiation dose required to produce clear and precise exam images.  For this reason mammograms are very safe. The use of adequate compression and digital technology assist in achieving this.

6. Mammograms are for older women. The American Cancer Society recommends that all women ages 35 to 39 have one  baseline screening mammogram. All women age 40 and up should get a yearly screening mammogram for as long as a woman is in good health. However, if you have a family history of cancer, any new breast problem or other high-risk factors, it may be recommended to start screening at an earlier age.  If you haven't had yours, it's time to schedule your appointment today or call us at 407-303-7500.