Reviewed by Trina Pagano on May 03, 2012


Carl D'Orsi, MD; Dir. Winchip's Breast Imaging Center, Emory/Winchip Cancer Institute, National Cancer Institute.

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Video Transcript

There is this little piece of tissue that kind of stands out.

Doctor Mary Newell is a detective of sorts-expert at uncovering cancer in the human breast.

The evidence is overwhelmingly convincing that women should be getting screenings at age 40 and have it yearly there after.

Yet surveys show that many women are skipping or ignoring that advice. Why?


By the time I got out of there I was very bruised.

It is a very frightening process…

You have to come down and exert enough force on the breast...

Ellen D'orsi, a mammogram technologist for over eleven years, offers the following advice for women who find the procedure painful.

If a woman was in the middle of her period and she knows that her breast are tender, or more-tender at that time, i would say reschedule the appointment.

For women who have tender breasts all the time or mid-cycle, i tell them take some advil the day of.

More tips:Avoid caffeine from coffee sodas or chocolate for about a week before the test. Caffeine has been linked to breast sensitivity in some women. Breath. Try to relax.

And most importantly…Talk to your technologist and tell her how you feel.

In the event a spot is found, further mammogram, an ultra-sound, M-R-I, even a biopsy may be ordered.

When no tumor is found the initial reading is referred to as a 'false-positive'.

What women should think about is not that 'gee they gave me a false positive', but 'wow they're really careful and they're trying to look for early disease' and that's what women should think about with a false positive.

Last one if you're counting…

For WebMD, I'm Sandee Lamotte.