Mammograms

A mammogram is a type of x-ray of the whole of your breast. Each of your breasts is x-rayed separately.

What is it used for?

It can show abnormal areas in your breasts such as tumours and cysts and so help with diagnosis.

Do I need to prepare?

You need to remove your upper clothing before your test. The area where you have your test is private and we will maintain your dignity at all times.

What happens during the procedure

Radiographer shows patient equipment used to take a mammogram

You will be asked to position yourself so your breast lies on a horizontal x-ray plate on the x-ray machine. A second x-ray plate will be lowered on to your breast and gentle pressure will be applied so it is compressed. This is to make sure the mammogram is clear. Two x-rays are taken of each breast at different angles.

Some women may find this procedure mildly uncomfortable and occasionally it may be painful. But this feeling only lasts for a short time.

NHS Choices explains more about breast screening.