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Mammography

Mammography

What is a Mammogram?

A mammogram is a safe, low-dose X-ray that healthcare providers use to detect irregularities of the breast. This specialized imaging system can detect potential problems even before you or your doctor feel a lump. Your doctor uses this technology to detect abnormal areas of density, mass, or calcification that may indicate the presence of cancer.

When should I have a mammogram?

The risk of breast cancer increases sharply with age, so we recommend scheduling mammogram screening at age 40. Most women should receive yearly mammograms after age 40, although your health and family history may affect your mammogram frequency. You can increase your chances for early detection of breast cancer by:

  • Scheduling a regular mammogram screening after age 40, conducted by a healthcare professional
  • Performing a breast self-exam every month
  • Speaking with your healthcare provider about ways to reduce your risk
  • If warning signs appear, such as pain, a lump you can feel, or nipple discharge, see your doctor immediately

Finding breast cancer early with diagnostic breast exams reduces your risk of disease mortality by 25-30% or more. Ogden women who have a family history of breast, ovarian, or other cancers should begin having diagnostic breast exams earlier than age 40.

What is a mammogram like?

Mammography is a quick procedure that can be performed at Ogden Clinic. Most mammogram appointments take between 20 minutes and a half-hour. Women often worry that a mammogram screening will hurt; however, most women experience minimal discomfort. Some women will feel soreness after a mammogram that subsides after a day or two.

During a mammogram, a radiographer will help you position one breast at a time between two flat plates on an X-ray machine. While each breast is placed firmly between the plates, the radiographer will begin taking X-rays. The radiographer takes two X-rays of each breast: one from above and one from the side. Breast compression helps to give your doctor the clearest imaging.

Mammograms are very effective in detecting abnormalities. Other important tools, such as clinical diagnostic breast exams or possibly an MRI are also used at Ogden Clinic as tools to screen for certain cancers. If you are over 40, call or visit an Ogden Clinic location today to schedule this preventative exam.