Ultrasounds and mammograms

For any significant change in appearance or sizeable breast lump your doctor will probably send you for an ultrasound or mammogram to see exactly what’s lurking underneath the surface.  Neither of these are the most pleasant things to experience, but they are a necessary evil in the process of suspicious character elimination. As a young woman, you are more likely to be sent for an ultrasound than a mammogram, as young breasts are naturally quite dense, which makes them more difficult to image using a mammogram.  Also if you have an infection or obvious swelling a mammogram would be unsuitable squashing a swollen boob would hurt….a lot!

The ultrasound consists of an examination of the breast by a radiographer who will pop some gel on the revealed offending boob and use a wand with high frequency sound waves to see what’s going on under the skin (or science to that effect).

A mammogram on the other hand is slightly more challenging in that they sandwich your boob between two pieces of clear Perspex and then slowly squeeze it flat (its actually pretty impressive just how flat a breast can get – if you can bear to look).  Just when you’re quite uncomfortable and don’t think they couldn’t squash you any more, they wind it up just a bit further. Don’t you dare let this put you off getting a mammogram though – it’s not painful, just a tad uncomfortable.  The hardest part is staying still standing upright while this all sandwiching lark happens. Usually, images from a couple of different angles will be taken, but the whole procedure doesn’t take long at all.  The end result is that it gives the radiographers an x-ray picture of your flattened boob so they can check it all out and see if you have a suspicious character lurking there or not.

Non-suspiscious characters this way please, you are now free to go.  All suspicious characters please follow me to the land of the biopsy, we’re not done with you yet.