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Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Mammography

Medically Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on January 19, 2021

Mammograms are an important diagnostic tool for your breast health, including screening for cancer. One good way to take charge of your health is to come prepared with questions for your doctor’s appointment. Here are some key ones to ask about your mammogram.

  • Are mammograms safe?
  • Does it hurt to get a mammogram?
  • When should I get my first mammogram, and how often will I need to get screened?
  • How well would a mammogram find cancer if I have dense breast tissue?
  • Do I have risk factors for breast cancer?
  • Do I need to get a mammogram if I’m younger than 50?
  • Should I get a mammogram if I don't have any symptoms?
  • Should I get a mammogram if I think I might have symptoms?
  • What’s the difference between a diagnostic and a screening mammogram?
  • How accurate is mammography at finding possible tumors?
  • When should I get a 3D mammogram instead of a regular one?
  • When should I get an ultrasound or MRI instead or in addition?
  • How long does it take to get my results back from a mammogram?
  • Will I need any other tests if my mammogram does show a problem?
  • Can I get a mammogram if I have or had breast implants?
  • Can I get a mammogram if I have a pacemaker?

It may help to bring your list of questions when you visit your doctor to help you remember. Jot down anything else you’d like to ask.

WebMD Medical Reference

Sources

SOURCES:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: “Mammograms: Questions for the doctor.”

National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health: “Dense Breasts: Answers to Commonly Asked Questions.”

National Breast Cancer Foundation: “Diagnostic Mammogram.”

Know your Girls: “Mammogram FAQs: Here’s what to expect,” “Everything you should know if you need a follow-up test.”

Susan G Komen: “Questions for Your Provider -- Breast Cancer Screening.”

Mayo Clinic: “Breast implants: Do they interfere with mammograms?”

John Hopkins Health: “6 Mammogram Myths.”

Harvard Health: “Heart Beat: Pacemakers and mammograms.”

Cedars-Sinai: “3D Mammograms: Are They Worth It?

Young Survival Coalition: “Breast Cancer Detection.”

BreastCancer.org: “Starting Breast Cancer Screening at Age 40 Instead of 50 Saves Lives,” “Annual MRI or Ultrasound Plus Mammogram Improves Detection in Women Dense Breasts.”

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