There are plenty of myths about mammograms. You might see claims that you shouldn’t eat before a mammogram or that you shouldn’t take a shower on the day of a mammogram — those claims are not true. One claim that is true, however, is that you should not use deodorant on the day of your mammogram. Mammograms and deodorant don’t mix.
What’s wrong with deodorant?
Deodorant often contains aluminum. The amount of aluminum in deodorant is very small, but there may still be enough to show up on your mammogram. If so, they can look like calcifications. What are calcifications?
Calcifications are tiny, naturally occurring deposits of calcium minerals that can sometimes form within the breast tissue. These deposits are so small that you can’t see or feel them, but they can sometimes be detected on a mammogram.
Aluminum is a metal, and it can also show up on the mammogram as small, bright spots, which look much the same as calcifications.
Here’s where the issue arises: When a radiologist looks at a mammogram, they carefully examine the X-ray images to identify any unusual or potentially problematic findings, such as calcifications that could be associated with breast cancer. However, if there’s aluminum from your deodorant present in the images, it can create confusion. The radiologist might have a harder time distinguishing between harmless spots of aluminum and those concerning calcium deposits.
Uncertain results can cause callbacks. More accurate results help you avoid that.
Go ahead and take a shower before your mammogram to be sure you don’t have any deodorant on your skin. Then, skip deodorant for the day, along with powders, perfumes, and lotions, which could also make it more difficult to get accurate results. Mammograms and deodorant don’t work together well.
Contact The Breast Center with any questions you may have about preparing for your mammogram.