close ad

Why Haven't You Had a Mammogram?

I'm Scared

If you've been avoiding mammograms because you're secretly terrified cancer might be found, worried about radiation exposure, or anxious about the embarrassment, discomfort, or pain you might experience during the procedure, you're not alone: Studies reveal these are very common concerns, according to Lydia Komarnicky, M.D., chair of the department of radiation oncology at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia.

What you can do

Talk to your doctor, mom, or friends about the breast X-ray. Women who do so are more likely to get screened than those who don't. Remember that today's mammograms deliver very little radiation, and while there is some discomfort, it lasts only a few seconds. Try to schedule the test right after your menstrual cycle, when your breasts are typically less tender. Taking two ibuprofen or acetaminophen a half hour before your test also can help.