Why You Shouldn’t Wear Deodorant When Getting a Mammogram

A mammogram is an important step in taking care of yourself and your breasts. Women trust Hunterdon Hematology Oncology as part of the Hunterdon Regional Breast Care Program (HRBCP) with regular mammograms and their overall breast health.

The mammograms done at one of several affiliated facilities use a digital format instead of the traditional film mammography you may be used to. This allows the mammogram to be available immediately. A digital image can also be altered and enhanced to allow a more accurate diagnosis and decreases the need for repeat imaging. This information can then be quickly assessed by your medical oncologist at Hunterdon Hematology Oncology and also other potential members of your breast care team which may include a breast surgeon.

Below are some things to expect when getting your mammogram: :

  • You’ll have to undress above the waist to get a mammogram. You will be given wia wrap to use for your comfort.
  • For your privacy, you and a nurse are the only ones in the room during the procedure.
  • During the procedure, the nurse will position your breasts for the mammogram. They  will have to flatten your breast on the machine’s plate so that a high-quality digital picture can be obtained..
  • Due to use of digital imaging, the procedure is much quicker and, you will have limited discomfort compared to a film mammogram. Let your nurse know immediately if you are experiencing any discomfort.

Many of our patients aren’t aware that you should not wear deodorant when getting a mammogram. Most deodorants and antiperspirants contain aluminum. Aluminum blocks your sweat ducts and prevents you from perspiring. The amount of aluminum in the average bar of deodorant is small, however, even a small amount is enough to interfere with a mammogram.

Aluminum particles in deodorant look like tiny white dots on a mammogram. These dots mimic calcifications, which can be an early sign of breast cancer. Aluminum particles make it difficult to distinguish deodorant aluminum from calcifications.

Regular mammograms  are important for your breast health. Here at Hunterdon Hematology Oncology we are happy, as part of the Hunterdon Regional Breast Care program, to ensure that our patients have this coordinated quickly and with ease.

Contact your medical oncologist for any concerns or questions regarding your mammogram. Our staff is also happy to help our patients schedule at one of several local imaging facilities, contact us today.

Dr. Megha Shah, M.D.