The National Cancer Institute estimates that, based on current rates, 1 in 8 women born today will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some time in their lives. Mammograms are probably the most important tool doctors have to help them diagnose, evaluate, and follow women with breast cancer. Women’s Health Specialists has been offering on-site mammography to our patients for over 15 years.
The need for mammography begins at age 35, when a baseline screening should be obtained. From age 40 onward, all women are recommended to undergo mammography screening on a yearly basis. Sometimes a mammogram will be recommended at an earlier age for women who are at high risk for breast cancer. This includes women with a prior personal history of breast cancer, a sister or mother with breast cancer, an unexplained lump or thickening, puckering or dimpling of the skin, or a recent change in the nipple.
Safe and highly accurate, a mammogram is an X-ray photograph of the breast that is used to look at breast tissue and aid in the early detection of breast cancer. When you have a mammogram, you will be asked not to wear any powders or deodorants that day. Two smooth flat plastic plates will be placed on either side of your breast. You breast tissue will be flattened so that the X-ray may examine all parts of your breast. Some women find this uncomfortable, but it is over very quickly. Our certified radiology technicians do their best to ensure your comfort. The level of radiation exposure during a mammogram is very low, lower than the amount of radiation a woman will receive from the environment over the course of one year. Upon completion of the mammogram, all films are interpreted by a Board Certified radiologist, and the results are returned to you.
We recommend that you schedule a mammogram at the same time as your annual exam and Pap smear, though you may schedule this appointment at whatever time is most convenient for you.