Do not delay your screening mammogram if you are already overdue because of a COVID-19 vaccination. Please talk with your primary care physician about the appropriate timing of your exam.
Get the information you need to protect your breast health. Benefit from advanced technology at a convenient Adventist HealthCare mammogram center near you.
What’s a Mammogram?
A mammogram is a breast imaging test that uses a safe, low-dose X-ray. It can show changes in breast tissue, including early signs of cancer that your doctor can’t find during a clinical breast exam. A clinical breast exam (CBE) is a physical exam of the breast done by a healthcare provider to check for lumps or other changes.
When Should I Get My First Mammogram?
Talk to your primary care provider about when and how often you should get a mammogram. For most women, you should get a mammogram and CBE every year starting at age 40.
Types of Mammograms
The type of diagnostic or screening mammogram that’s best for you depends on certain factors. You may have a:
- Screening mammogram. This type of mammogram is recommended yearly to look for signs of breast cancer before you experience symptoms.
- Diagnostic mammogram. If you have symptoms, or another test shows signs of abnormal breast tissue, this type of mammogram allows the radiologists to focus more closely on the area of concern.
2D Digital Mammography
A digital mammogram is also known as a two-dimensional, or 2D, mammogram. If you have a 2D mammogram, you’ll get accurate, fast test results – sometimes during the same visit as your exam.
Cost of a 2D Mammogram
Most insurance plans cover 2D mammograms. Check with your insurance provider before scheduling your appointment.
Tomosynthesis is an imaging technique also known as three-dimensional, or 3D, mammography. This type of mammogram gives your radiologist detailed images of your breast tissue and can make it easier to find signs of breast cancer as early as possible. It can also prevent the need for more imaging tests, such as a breast ultrasound or breast MRI.
Who Can Get a 3D Mammogram?
All women can benefit from a 3D mammogram and should consider this screening option, especially women with dense breasts. Discuss the benefits with your technologist at your appointment.
Cost of a 3D Mammogram
Not all insurance plans cover 3D mammography. Contact your insurance provider to see if a 3D mammogram is covered. In most cases, there is a small fee to cover the additional cost.
How to Prepare
For your comfort, schedule your mammogram two to three days after your menstrual cycle (period), when your breasts are less sensitive. Ask your appointment scheduler how to get ready for your appointment. Tell your scheduler if you:
- Are allergic to intravenous (IV) or oral contrast
- Are breastfeeding
- Are pregnant or could be pregnant
- Have diabetes or kidney disease
On the Day of Your Appointment
The day of your mammogram:
- Arrive at least 15 minutes before your appointment.
- Do not wear deodorant, powder, perfume or lotions on the breast or underarm area.
- Do not wear jewelry.
- Wear loose-fitting, metal-free clothing.
What to Bring
- Any scans or reports not from Adventist HealthCare
- Insurance cards and photo ID
- Referral from your physician
What to Expect
When you arrive at the mammogram center, you’ll change into a gown that covers your body from the waist up. Talk to your technologist about your medical history and any breast-related symptoms. Tell your technologist if you have:
- Breast implants
- Had a breast biopsy
During the Exam
Your technologist will position you and place your breast on the mammography machine. While it creates images of your breast tissue, the machine will press your breast for a few seconds to make the images as clear as possible.
How Long Does a Mammogram Take?
Your test will take about 20 minutes. You can leave the imaging center when the mammogram is over and do your normal activities.
When Will I Get My Results?
Ask your technologist when and how you’ll get your results. Your radiologist will send the results to your referring provider in about 24 hours.
If a mammogram shows an area of concern, your doctor may recommend additional screening options, such as a biopsy or other test. Count on our team to help you take any needed next steps.