01.15 Mammogram

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Included In This Lesson

Study Tools



  1. Mammogram
    1. X-ray of breast tissue
    2. Diagnose breast cancer

Nursing Points


  1. Procedure
    1. Patient stands in front of machine
    2. Breast placed on a plate
    3. Top plate moves down onto breast
    4. X-ray picture
  2. Purpose
    1. View breast tissue for abnormal growths
  3. Indications
    1. Lumps
    2. Pain
    3. Age over 45 (yearly)


  1. Before
    1. Educate patient on painful nature of procedure
    2. Remove shirt, bra, jewelry

Therapeutic Management

  1. During
    1. Position patient in front of machine
    2. Assist with breast placement
  2. After
    1. Explain when results will be available

Nursing Concepts

  1. Health promotion –> screen for breast cancer
  2. Comfort –> painful procedure

Patient Education

  1. No deodorant, perfume, powder before (may show on X-ray)
  2. Avoid scheduling around time breasts are tender
  3. Mammogram screenings yearly after age 45


Hey guys! Welcome to the lesson about mammograms!

So during a mammogram, the patient stands in front of the machine and their breast is placed on a plate like this. The top plate here moves down onto the breast, and an X-ray is taken of the breast tissue. Let’s discuss the purpose and indications for this test. 

The mammogram is done to look at the breast tissue for abnormal growths. It may be ordered by the doctor if the patient has lumps or pain. People over age 45 should have yearly mammogram screenings for cancer. If a patient has a family history of breast cancer, the doctor may have them get checked out at an earlier age.  Here is a picture of the normal breast tissue on the left, and the right shows a growth. Let’s explore what to do surrounding the procedure. 

Before the procedure, let the patient know that it can be very uncomfortable when the plate comes down on the breast. Have them remove their shirt, bra, and any jewelry. 

During the procedure, position the patient in front of the machine and assist with breast placement on the plate like in this picture. Explain when the results may become available to them. A positive mammogram may call for a breast tissue biopsy. Let’s discuss patient education. 

Before the procedure, educate the patient on avoiding any deodorant, perfume, and powder before the mammogram because they can show up on the X-ray and interfere with the picture. Tell them to avoid scheduling the mammogram around a time that their breasts are normally tender like the week before their period. Educate patients over 45 years old that it is important to have yearly screenings for cancer. 

The priority nursing concepts on the patient with a mammogram are health promotion and comfort. 

Alright guys, let’s review the key points. Mammograms are where the breast is placed between X-ray plates to view the breast tissue. This procedure is indicated with breast pain, lumps, and women over age 45 to screen for cancer. Before the procedure, explain what will happen and that it is painful. During the procedure, position the patient in front of the machine and their breast on the plate. Educate the patient not to wear any deodorant, powder, or perfume as they can affect the picture. Educate women over 45 on the importance of screening for breast cancer yearly. 

Okay guys, that’s it on mammograms! Now go out and be your best self today, and as always, happy nursing!