Mammograms in Portland

An advanced diagnostic tool

Mammograms are one of the most-discussed cancer screenings. And with good reason: The American College of Radiology recommends annual screening mammograms for women of average risk starting at age 40.

Healthcare providers may also recommend regular screening mammograms for younger women, based on certain risk factors like a family history of breast cancer.

Mammograms offer a simple way to help detect breast cancer early, when it may be more easily treated.

Adventist Health Portland offers two convenient locations where you can have your mammogram done in a friendly, comfortable environment: at our southeast Portland health campus and at Gresham Station Imaging.

Your mammogram at Adventist Health

Mammography is a form of X-ray that creates an image of your internal breast tissue. During the procedure, a specially trained technologist positions and compresses the breast to obtain an optimal image. Low-dose X-rays penetrate the tissues to create a clear picture.

Because this can be uncomfortable, Adventist Health’s mammography specialists use a soft cover to make the procedure more comfortable. In fact, we take great care to make the whole experience as easy on you as possible.

We receive many positive comments from our patients about the great job we’re doing. A number of patients say they wouldn’t go anywhere else for their mammogram.

Once images are taken from several angles, a physician trained in reading breast imaging will check if your breast shows any areas of abnormal or possibly cancerous tissue. Mammograms can even find lumps too small to feel during a self-exam or a physical exam by your doctor.

In addition to regularly scheduled mammogram screenings, your provider may order a diagnostic mammogram if you have a lump or a change in your breast.

What if they find something?

Though it may be frightening to have your doctor tell you something was identified on your mammogram, it’s not that uncommon. In fact, more than 90 percent of women who have a finding on their screening mammogram are actually cancer-free.

We understand how worrisome any finding can feel, so we do our best to keep you informed as we make a plan to figure out what exactly we found on your screening mammogram.

There are many benign findings in the breast such as noncancerous tumors, unusually dense or asymmetric tissue, and breast cysts. Sometimes these findings require additional imaging.

Breast ultrasounds can also help examine certain areas that look concerning on your mammogram. Breast ultrasounds use sound waves to create an image of the tissues inside your breast. This offers a different view for your physician and may be suggested if something is found on your mammogram.

Ultrasound isn’t needed with every mammogram, but it can help your doctor check any unusual areas identified during your screening.

Another imaging technique, MRI, uses magnets and radio waves to create a detailed picture of your breast tissue. This painless procedure can create false positives, so it’s typically recommended for women at higher risk and those who need further study of their breast tissue.

Your regular doctor or your radiologist may also recommend a core biopsy. In this procedure, a hollow needle takes a sample of suspicious breast tissue like a lump or breast calcification. A pathologist examines the sample of your suspicious breast tissue under a microscope to see if there are cancer cells. The biopsy can be done in the Adventist Health medical imaging department with just a local anesthetic.

Why mammograms matter

Regular mammograms can help you and your healthcare provider track any changes in your breasts as time goes by. They may also detect lumps or masses far earlier than either of you can find with a physical exam.

Mammograms are a very personal and sometimes uncomfortable experience. You can trust that your Adventist Health mammography specialists are committed to making them as painless and as comfortable as possible.

To schedule your mammogram, call our scheduling department at (503) 251-6137. Mammograms are available at our southeast Portland location (10123 SE Main Street) and at Gresham Station (831 NW Council Drive).