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NCCN Guidelines for Patients


Breast Cancer - Early-Stage


, Version 1.2016

Figure 2.1 Mammogram

Mammograms are pictures of the insides

of your breasts. They are often easy to

get. Before the test, don’t use deodorants,

perfumes, powders, or lotions on your breasts

and armpits or wash them off. These products

can make the pictures unclear. You will also

need to remove your top and bra.

In the exam room, a technician will tell you

how to place your body next to the machine.

Your breast will be placed onto a flat surface,

called a plate. A second plate will be lowered

onto your breast to flatten it. This may be

painful but it gets the least fuzzy picture of

your breast. Pictures will be taken from a

camera that is attached to the two plates.

Mammograms of both breasts take about 20

minutes to complete.

The pictures are either printed on film or saved

on a computer. An expert in mammograms,

called a radiologist, will view the pictures.

He or she will report the test findings to your


Diagram showing a woman having a mammogram by Cancer Research UK available at commons.wikimedia.

org/wiki/File:Diagram_showing_a_woman_having_a_mammogram_CRUK_089.svg under a Creative Commons

Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.


Treatment planning

Imaging tests