A mammogram is a special x-ray of your breast tissue that can help detect the presence of breast cancer.
A screening mammogram is performed when there's no history of breast cancer or health problems. Screening mammograms are often ordered by physicians for women between the ages of 35 and 40. This procedure can be performed at our Community HealthLink center.
A diagnostic mammogram is for women with a history of breast cancer or breast health issues. Diagnostic mammography is used when an abnormality is found during screening or in women who have breast complaints, such as breast mass, nipple discharge, and breast pain or skin irritation. A diagnostic mammogram requires a physician order.
After the age of 40, you should have a diagnostic mammogram every year as recommended by the American Cancer Society. Some insurance companies will decline coverage for a baseline exam or an annual exam, so be sure to consult your benefits package.
If your policy doesn’t cover a screening exam between the ages of 35 and 40 or annual mammograms after age 40, or if you don’t have medical insurance, contact us at 740.435.2500 to see if you qualify for a free or reduced fee mammogram.
How should I prepare for a mammogram?
Schedule your mammogram for 7-10 days after your menstrual cycle has ended so your breasts will be less tender and the exam will be less uncomfortable. On the day of your exam, shower, but don’t apply any lotion, deodorant or perfume. Report to the registration desk on the ground floor 30 minutes prior to your appointment to register for your appointment.
What happens during a mammogram?
A licensed mammographer will escort you to the room where your exam will take place. You’ll be given a gown that opens at the front and be asked to remove your bra. The mammographer will then perform a standard series of x-rays, and review the images with the radiologists to determine if it’s necessary to take any additional images.
What happens after a mammogram?
Your mammogram will be read by one of our board-certified radiologists who will read your films and dictate a report available to your physician. Your physician will contact you directly to discuss the results.