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Mammogram Screenings

Mammogram Screenings

1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. The good news? Detecting breast cancer early dramatically improves your survival rate.

Now, we have mammogram screening technology to help you find and beat breast cancer in early stages.

Recommended for All Women Ages 40+

Anyone, including men, can get breast cancer, but women over 40 are at a much higher risk. That’s why we recommend for all women ages 40 and up (until menopause ends) to get regular mammogram screenings.

If you’re a man or younger woman with a family history of breast cancer, or unusual symptoms, talk to your healthcare provider to see if a screening is right for you.

We Prioritize Patient Dignity, More Comfortable Compression, and Reliable Results.

  • Our respectful staff is at your service.
  • You’ll receive a partial covering to provide as much privacy as possible during your appointment.
  • The mammogram machine adapts to your breast sizes and shapes, improving comfort during compression.
  • You can trust our top-of-the-line technology to provide real results.*

*Talk to your healthcare provider about how to prepare for your appointment to get the best results.

Preparing For Your Appointment

We want you to have the best experience possible during your mammogram screening.

Follow these tips to prepare for your first appointment.

When to Schedule Your Mammogram Screening

  • Always ask your doctor, or your mammogram screening provider, about when to set up your appointment. If you’re low-risk and pregnant, or have recently had certain vaccinations, it might be best to schedule your appointment later.
  • For the most comfortable experience, avoid scheduling your mammogram on the week before your period.

Things to Bring (If You Don’t Have These Records, Come Anyway!)

  • Come with a list of places and dates of mammograms, biopsies, and other breast treatments you’ve done before.
  • Bring records of any mammograms you’ve had before so we can compare old pictures with your new ones.

What to Wear (And What to Avoid)

  • Don’t wear deodorant or antiperspirants on the day of the exam. You can bring some to put on after your appointment if you’d like!
  • Skirts and pants are more comfortable than dresses or jumpsuits. By wearing skirts or pants, you’ll only have to remove your top and bra during the screening.

What to Expect During Your Mammogram Screening

Here’s what you can expect at your mammogram screening appointment.

  1. You’ll stand in front of the mammogram machine.
  2. A technician will be available to help as you place your breast on a plastic plate.
  3. Another plate from above will press down on the top, creating slight pressure for 10-15 seconds per image. Our new machine uses a plate that adjusts to your breast shape to increase comfort during this stage.
  4. The mammogram machine will take images of your breasts that look for signs of cancer. In most cases, you’ll only need two pictures per breast.
  5. These steps will repeat for the second breast.
  6. The technician will review the photos to ensure they’re clear enough to be read by doctors.

This entire appointment takes 30-45 minutes, and your breasts are only under compression for about a minute of that time. The technician will not be able to tell the results of the mammogram and will receive the results from a doctor at a later date.

Mammogram Screening FAQs

A mammogram is a picture of the breast using a large x-ray machine. It scans for breast cancer in women who fail to show any signs or abnormalities.

Mammograms are recommended for women ages 40 and up (until menopause ends), but may be recommended to younger women and men who are at a high risk of breast cancer.

There are two types of Mammograms: screening and diagnostic.

Mammogram screenings take two or more x-ray pictures of each breast that can show early stages of breast cancer.

Diagnostic mammograms look at the signs of cancer more closely to further determine the next steps. Clear signs can be lumps, breast pain, thickening of the skin of the breast, nipple discharge, or a change in breast size or shape.

Right now, we offer mammogram screenings to current patients of Heart City Health. If you need a diagnostic mammogram, we’ll refer you to a trusted provider.

When the mammogram screening machine needs to take an image, it lowers a plate that presses down on your breast. Some women find this uncomfortable.

Our machine uses a cup that adjusts to your breast size and shape for a better experience.

Even though your appointment lasts 30-45 minutes, the pressure on your breast only lasts 10-15 seconds per image, and most women only need two images per breast.

You may have heard that mammograms expose you to radiation. Mammograms do expose you to some radiation, but a significant amount.

The American Cancer Society explains that the radiation exposure from a mammogram, “of both breasts is about the same amount of radiation a woman would get from her natural surroundings over about 7 weeks.”

Most doctors agree that getting routine mammograms is much safer than going without them.

You might hear people talk about a (Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System) BI-RADS system when reviewing your results.

BI-RADS is a scale ranging from 0-6. The numbers on your results tell you what your mammogram screening found.

0: The results are inconclusive.

1: No abnormalities were detected.

2: Anything found was benign (not dangerous).

3: Findings are probably benign. You may need a follow-up in six months.

4: An abnormality was found that could be cancerous, but most likely not. You may need a biopsy.

5: A tumor was identified with a 95% chance of being cancerous. You’ll need a biopsy.

6: A cancerous tumor has been confirmed.

If cancer is found, your doctor will most likely order an ultrasound, MRI, or tissue biopsy as a next step.