What to expect after your mammogram
You’ve just completed your regular mammogram to screen for breast cancer. After you get back home, you might be nervous waiting to get your results back and thinking, “now what?”
Often, you’ll hear back about your results from this diagnostic screening the same-day or the following day. If you need any additional imaging, this will be determined by what is found on the mammogram. Risk factors also play a role in this decision.
“Follow up mammograms are determined if there is something on the mammogram that may need a second look, says Dr. Chad Kort, breast surgeon at Aurora Medical Center – Summit. “It’s a natural reaction to be concerned if you get called in for a follow up appointment. However, it’s important to know that this shouldn’t automatically be reason for alarm.”
It is fairly common for women to get called back for additional imaging, and often it does not necessarily mean you have breast cancer. Sometimes a clearer image is needed to see the breast tissue more clearly and may need to retake new images.
Another reason additional imaging might be needed is if it is your first mammogram or it’s been a while since your last one.
“Mammograms are compared to past mammogram images and, if there aren’t any recent images as reference, additional imaging and testing may need to be performed purely since there isn’t anything to use when comparing,” explains Dr. Kort.
Risk factors such as family history, breast density, and others also play a role in this decision.
There are offices that have multidisciplinary teams of breast health professionals in one office if there is any care that you would need, including breast surgeons, breast radiologists, comprehensive breast reconstruction surgeons, and medical and radiology oncology on site to treat patients.
In addition to getting a regular mammogram, it is important for women to get a regular breast exam by their medical provider. If you have any questions, your primary care doctor can talk with you about your risk factors and any concerns you may have.
Take a breast health assessment to learn your risk. Want to schedule a mammogram? Look here if you live in Illinois. Look here if you live in Wisconsin.
About the Author
Hannah Koerner is a Public Affairs Specialist with Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay. In her free time, she enjoys biking, snowshoeing, and cheering on Wisconsin sports teams.
Please remember to do monthly self exams. Mammograms are not 100%. My PCP found a lump during a routine physical my Mammogram scheduled for that same day was changed to a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound. Both tests were normal, despite showing the tech my lump and putting a marker on the lump. The lump was removed and found to be cancer. Self exams, doctor breast exams and mammograms all need to be done.