Caring for you is our top priority. Our imaging centers in offer easy scheduling with flexible appointment times that work with your busy life. We advocate open communication between our experienced imaging staff and your doctor so you can get the exceptional care you need, when you need it.
What Is the Purpose of a Mammogram?A mammogram is an X-ray image of the breast, which doctors use to look for early signs of breast cancer and other breast abnormalities. The imaging method is called mammography. It is used as both a diagnostic and screening tool.
What Happens During a Mammogram?During a mammogram, a patient stands in front of a special medical X-ray machine while a technologist places the patient's breast on a flat plate. The breast is compressed with a parallel plate called a paddle, which holds it still while the X-ray is being taken. The process only takes a few seconds for each breast. This helps minimize blurring of the X-ray image that can be caused by movement. Compression also evens out the shape of the breast, so that the X-ray can travel a shorter path.
A small X-ray dose passes through the breast to a detector located on the opposite side. It can either be a photographic film plate or a solid-state detector, which produces images.
These steps are repeated for the other breast. For some women with breast implants or larger breasts, more images may be needed. The whole procedure generally takes about 20 minutes.
Your breasts may be more sensitive if you are about to have or currently having your period. Inform the technologists at once if you feel any pain.
What Are the Types of Mammograms?There are two types of mammograms. Film-screen mammograms produce images in black and white on large sheets of film. Digital mammograms produce images directly onto a computer. Digital mammograms can be viewed on a computer screen where specific areas can be enlarged or highlighted. The images can be transmitted electronically from one location to another.
Both types are equally accurate in screening for breast cancer and other breast abnormalities. However, digital mammogram is a better screening tool for women:
- under the age of 50
- who have dense breast tissue
- who are still menstruating or are perimenopausal
What Age Should a Woman Get a Mammogram?Mammogram guidelines are issued by various medical organizations. For more information, please review the chart below for women with average risk:
|Age to Start Mammography||Age to Stop Mammography||Mammography Interval|
|American College of Radiology/Society of Breast Imaging||40*||No age limit, tailor to individual health status||Annual|
|American Cancer Society||45 option to start at age 40||When life expectancy is less than 10 years
||Annual 45-54; Every 1 or 2 years 55+|
|American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists||Offer at 40, not later than 50||Age 75, then shared decision making||Every 1 or 2 years|
|American Medical Association
|American Society of Breast Surgeons
||40||When life expectancy is less than 10 years||Annual|
|National Comprehensive Cancer Network||40||Upper age limit for screening is not yet established||Annual|
|U.S. Preventive Services Task Force
||50||74 years||Every 2 years|
* African American, Hispanic and Asian women have peak incidence of breast cancer in their 40s and should begin screening at least by age 40.
Please talk with your health care provider about the best screening guidelines for you.
Insurances AcceptedWe accept a variety of insurance plans. For questions about your coverage, please contact your insurance provider directly.
Congratulations on taking the first steps toward better health. A member of our team will contact you soon.