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Woman getting mammogram

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Unfortunately, modern medicine isn’t very modern when it comes to scanning for breast cancer, and until the medical community can come up with something better, we’re stuck with the discomfort of a mammogram. The cold machine clamping your breasts down like pancakes is enough to make anyone squeamish. And that’s not even mentioning the emotional and mental distress of knowing why you’re there.

These exams, which UC Health reports accurately detect breast cancer in 78 percent of women tested, are very important. They are especially crucial for Black women who are diagnosed with breast cancer at a higher rate than any other American racial or ethnic group, says the Breast Cancer Prevention Partners. Breast cancer screening is a part of life as a woman, but being uncomfortable during your exam doesn’t have to be. Here are ways to make your mammogram more comfortable.

 

Schedule It Away From Your Period

Contraceptive pills in blister pack on calendar

Source: Isabel Pavia / Getty

If you are pre-menopause and having a mammogram, know that your breasts will be most sensitive the week leading up to your period and the week during which you are menstruating. It’s best to schedule your mammogram a week after your period when the sensitivity has gone down.

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