An annual mammogram is recommended by the American Cancer
Society for all women 40 and older who are at average risk of
getting breast cancer. For women at high-risk, the guidelines
advise you to discuss your risk with your healthcare provider
to decide whether or not additional testing is indicated. One
out of every eight women is likely to develop breast cancer in
their lifetime. You may be at higher risk if:
- You are age 50 or older
- Your mother or sisters have had breast cancer
- You already have had cancer in one breast
- You have had a prior breast biopsy
Currently, two-thirds of breast cancers are diagnosed at a
localized stage, for which the five-year survival rate is 97%.
This high rate of early detection can be attributed to
utilization of mammography screening. A better understanding of
breast cancer symptoms within our population has also helped to
Mammograms, breast examinations by your physician, and
self-examination of your breasts are all important tools in
detecting early breast cancer. Resources for learning how to
properly perform a breast self-examination (BSE) are listed
Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation provides information on breast self-exams on their website.
Digital Mammography captures images of the breast using low
doses of radiation. A radiologist adjusts these images using a
computer to achieve optimum viewing of all areas of the breast.
Services offered by the mammography department include
screening mammograms and diagnostic mammograms, as well as
needle localizations for breast biopsies.
Before Your Mammogram
When making your appointment, please notify the scheduler if
you have implants or large breasts, or if you are unable to
stand on your own, so that additional time can be allotted for
your exam. Please do not use perfume, powder, or deodorant on
the day of your exam. If you forget, wipes will be provided to
Time Required for Your Mammogram
Screening mammograms generally last 15 minutes. Diagnostic
mammograms and needle localizations require additional time.
Who Performs Your Mammogram
Radiologic Technologists certified in Mammography will perform
During Your Mammogram
The breast is positioned on a flat surface as a compression
panel is lowered over it (compression is necessary to produce
an optimal breast x-ray). A minimum of four pictures are taken
for a screening mammogram, although additional images are
sometimes needed to complete the study. Our staff is dedicated
to making the process as comfortable as possible for the
patient which is why we use the MammoPad for all exams. This
foam pad helps to properly position the breast and provides a
cushion between the patient and the mammography machine.
After Your Mammogram
A radiologist will analyze the images obtained during your
mammogram and send a written report to your doctor, typically
within 48 hours. The radiologist will contact your doctor
immediately if any serious abnormality is found.
To schedule a mammogram, please call 503-251-6132.