Ladies, How About a More Comfortable Mammogram?

Mammogram. A three-syllable word that makes most women cringe.

The thought of having your breasts squished between two pieces of plastic is enough to make you toss the reminder card aside, possibly delaying your annual mammogram for six months or even longer. Or worse, avoiding the annual procedure altogether.

I've been guilty of delaying my appointment because I dreaded the painful machine. Add to that, the personal discomfort of being topless in front of the technician.

As a woman, though, you know that mammograms are important, especially in light of the current statistics.

In the U.S., 1 in 8 women is diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. It’s estimated that 268,600 new cases will be diagnosed this year alone. Breast cancer affects more women's lives than any other cancer (exception of lung cancer).

Ladies, mammograms cannot be placed on the back burner anymore!

Did you know there's a new technology for breast exams?

Finally, there's a mammogram shaped like a woman. Solis Mammography offers Hologic’s latest innovation, SmartCurve paddle integrated with 3D technology.

Allow me to translate… You no longer have to place your breasts into a flat paddle compression. SmartCurve was contoured to the natural breast shape which allows pressure to be evenly applied to breast tissue. The result? A pain-free and more accurate mammogram.

I had an opportunity to test the SmartCurve paddle at my recent mammogram. It was quick and painless! For me, the curved paddle made a world of difference.

Not only are mammograms more comfortable but evidently they're more accurate. By adjusting the paddle technology, it improved the overall image quality of the breast tissue from different angles.

The traditional flat paddles utilized over compressed against the chest wall. According to Dr. Stephen Rose, Director of Clinical Research at Solis Mammography, by adding the gentle curve, the peripheral, lateral, and medial views were enhanced. (Check out this video sharing his perspective about the development of SmartCurve.)

The SmartCurve paddle is also offered at all 61 Solis breast centers, allowing patients to book an appointment close to home or near their job. Ellen Hoffman, Director of Digital Marketing at Solis Mammography, shared,

The SmartCurve paddle can be used for most women and breast sizes. For some women who have undergone breast augmentation, the breast tissue may be too thin, in which case a traditional flat paddle will be used. If a woman is not a candidate for SmartCurve, our technologists will let her know before her screening.

3 Tips for Your Next Mammogram

  • Skip deodorant on your exam day. Some antiperspirants have substances that create white spots on the images.
  • Opt for a two-piece outfit (skirt and top or pants and top). You'll be removing your top and provided a cape to wear.
  • First-time patients should bring prior records and images to the exam. Records can be requested but it slows down the process.

If you still feel hesitant about scheduling your next mammogram, consider making it a girl's day out. Get your mom, sisters or girlfriends together and schedule exams at the same time. Follow it up with lunch at your favorite restaurant. Have fun and breathe easier knowing that it’s done for the year.

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