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Is There Such a Thing As a More Comfortable Mammogram?

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Is There Such a Thing As a More Comfortable Mammogram?

Mammograms play a key role in early breast cancer detection but are often associated with pain and discomfort. But despite the discomfort, mammograms are important.

Early Cancer Detection

During a recent HealthyWomen survey—supported by Siemens Healthineers—it was found that 61% of 1,194 respondents of women 40 years and older think mammograms are necessary. But just because women understand a mammogram is a necessary part of early cancer detection, it doesn't mean they enjoy them.

52% said the mammogram experience is uncomfortable and 25% said mammograms are painful. Nearly 1 in 6 women report that discomfort has deterred them from getting a mammogram as recommended: 12% of women reported postponing a mammogram due to discomfort, and 3% said they would not get them anymore because of it.

Mammogram Comfort

But with new mammogram system options available, are mammograms unnecessarily painful? If you're scratching your head wondering why you're unaware of mammography systems that are designed to maximize comfort, you're not alone.

HealthyWomen's survey showed that 59% of women are not aware of the availability of different mammogram system options. But 54% of women said they would be very motivated to get regular mammograms if they were aware that some medical practices provide a more comfortable and tailored mammogram experience. 49% percent said they would be very likely to seek out practices where more comfortable and tailored mammogram experiences are available.

Knowing there are women who skip receiving a mammogram altogether because they are worried it will be unpleasant or hurt (32% of respondents told us that's why they skipped their mammogram) shows an even greater need for women to be aware of their options.

Systems designed to be more patient-friendly with features like personalized compression and soft breast paddles—even soft mood lighting to help you relax during your mammogram—do exist!

The next time you find yourself speaking to your health care provider about getting your mammogram, make sure to ask them about all of your options.

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  • Category: Cancer Treatment