A screening mammogram is an X-ray of the breast. Usually two or three views (pictures) are taken of each breast.
While mammograms are not perfect, according to the American Cancer Society, they are considered to be the best tool to find cancers of the breast very early.
Advances in mammography, including the invention of FDA-approved digital mammography, can be credited with detecting 80 percent to 90 percent of breast cancers in women without symptoms.
This is particularly effective in screening women who are under age 50, or women of any age who have dense breasts.
This is due to digital mammography’s ability to take an electronic image of the breast and store it directly in a computer, allowing the recorded data to be enhanced, magnified, or manipulated for further evaluation.
Who should have a mammogram?
Women over 40 should talk with their health care provider on when the best time is to begin annual mammograms.
If there is a strong family history of breast cancer, a mammogram may be ordered at an earlier age.
Women in their 20s and 30s should have a clinical breast exam (CBE) as part of a periodic (regular) health exam by their health care provider, preferably every three years.
Breast self-exam (BSE) is an option for women starting in their 20s.
Women should report any breast changes to their health professional right away.
Know Your Risk
With breast cancer screening guidelines changing all the time, it can be tough to know what screenings to have or what level of risk you may be at.
Both our online health risk assessment and our in-person high risk assessment are great ways to come up with a plan of action that is right for you.
With conventional digital mammography, the radiologist is viewing all the complexities of your breast tissue in one flat image. Sometimes breast tissue can overlap, giving the illusion of normal breast tissue looking like an abnormal area.
By looking at the breast tissue in 1 millimeter slices, the radiologist can provide a more confident assessment.
In this way, 3D mammography may find cancers missed with conventional 2D mammography.
Also known as breast tomosynthesis, 3D mammography helps radiologists identify and characterize individual breast structures without the confusion of overlapping tissue.
Radiologists are reporting that tomosynthesis technology gives them increased confidence with a significant reduction in recall rates.
Scheduling your mammogram
To schedule your mammogram, please call one of the phone numbers listed below.
Now offering Saturday appointments from 8 a.m. to noon.
(309) 344-3161 x5454