MEDFORD, Ore. -- Mammograms save lives, but there are many reasons people don't set the appointment.
Pain is a very real concern for many people who should be getting an exam.
When it's time for the mammogram, there is only one way to get the pictures needed to identify breast cancer early.
"There is pressure, yes, but we want the best exam for you and that does include that compression, which can be a little bit uncomfortable. But it's a short period of time,” says Nicole McPheeters, an Eisenstein Breast Center nurse.
The compression of a mammogram is about 10 seconds long and varies between 37 and 40 pounds. Four pictures are taken.
There are a few things that can be done to minimize the discomfort, for example, avoiding caffeine before a mammogram.
Caffeine consumption can irritate the ductal tissues in the breast, so reducing intake before the mammogram can be beneficial.
Some patients have also taken ibuprofen or Tylenol before the exam to lessen the discomfort.
People who want to get a mammogram should call the number on the back of their insurance card to set up an appointment.