Make this important screening a part of your regular plans to keep it top of mind.
Mammograms are incredibly important for catching breast cancer early.
But often, life can get in the way. Whether it's the pandemic, a job, your family, an illness or something else, many women end up delaying their mammograms.
This month, in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, decide on a date that's important to you — and commit to scheduling your mammogram on or around this date every time you need one.
Less busy times in your life
Are you or your family especially booked up during certain months? Choose another time when there are fewer demands on your schedule that could cause potential conflicts.
If your menstrual period is somewhat regular, you might plan for your mammogram to occur the week after a period. This will make the exam a little more comfortable since breasts can feel more tender the week before or during menstruation.
You might want to schedule your mammogram during the same month as your birthday. And be sure to put your mammogram date into your phone or paper calendar as a handy reminder about your upcoming appointment.
By following the same general date for your screening, you're less likely to forget. You’re also more likely to get your screening on time, which can ensure that you stay healthy and catch any concerns quickly.
The following facts might also help you when it comes to choosing a date for your mammogram:
- You don't need a referral to get a mammogram. You can schedule it on your own. However, if something is found on the imaging, it is helpful to have an established primary care provider to help you determine if or when you need follow-up care.
- Mammograms are covered by insurance under the Affordable Care Act. How often you need a mammogram (and whether it’s covered) may vary depending on your age and risk. Ask your doctor when you should get a mammogram.
- The mammogram itself takes only about 10 minutes. You’ll want to add 15-20 minutes before your appointment to give you time to find parking and check in.
Schedule an appointment for your mammogram if you're due for one now.