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Digital Mammography

Women's Imaging Center

Breast Cancer Awareness RibbonAmerican Cancer Society Guidelines for the Early Detection of Breast Cancer

The American Cancer Society recommends these screening guidelines for most adults.

  • Yearly mammograms are recommended starting at age 40 and continuing for as long as a woman is in good health.
  • Clinical breast exam (CBE) about every 3 years for women in their 20s and 30s and every year for women 40 and over.
  • Women should know how their breasts normally look and feel and report any breast change promptly to their health care provider. Breast self-exam (BSE) is an option for women starting in their 20s.

The American Cancer Society recommends that some women -- because of their family history, a genetic tendency, or certain other factors -- be screened with MRI in addition to mammograms. (The number of women who fall into this category is small: less than 2% of all the women in the US.) Talk with your doctor about your history and whether you should have additional tests at an earlier age. For more information, call the American Cancer Society and ask for our document, Breast Cancer: Early Detection.

Visit the American Cancer Society site to learn more.

It is estimated that 1in 8 women will develop breast cancer during her lifetime and the probability of developing breast cancer increases with age. Your best defense against breast cancer is detection at an early, treatable stage. Mammography is the most sensitive method for the detection of breast cancer.

About Mammography

Mammography is an x-ray examination of the breast tissue. The image produced by this process is called a mammogram. Although mammography does involve a small amount of radiation, it can help detect problems within your breast tissue long before they can be felt. Hence, the benefits of regularly scheduled mammography exams far outweigh any risks.

Before Your Exam

Tracking changes in your breast tissue is valuable and very important to the mammography process. It is standard procedure for our physicians (radiologists) to compare your latest mammogram with your previous three exams. If any of your previous three mammograms were done at another facility or office it is important for you to contact that office and request copies of your images. Please bring these images with you for the radiologist to compare..

It is important that you inform the technologist about:

  • any past breast biopsies or surgery
  • if you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant
  • if you have breast implants
  • if you have any scars or moles on or near your breasts
  • if you are breast feeding

On the morning of your visit, wash your breasts and underarms, but do not use deodorant, powder, or perfume because it degrades the images. Wear a blouse or sweater that you can remove easily.

During Your Exam

You will need to undress from the waist up. The technologist will position your breasts to get the best results. During the exam, each of your breasts will be compressed. You may feel some discomfort, but compression helps to get the most complete x-ray image. Remain as relaxed as you can during the compression. Know that any discomfort will be very brief.

After Your Exam

You can return to your normal activities right away. The mammogram images will be viewed by a radiologist (a physician who specializes in diagnostic imaging). The results of your exam will be sent to your referring physician.

Schedule an Appointment

(517) 353-5053
(517) 353-4920

MSU Spine Center - X-Ray (Eyde Building)
(517) 884-7450

Olin Health Center
(517) 353-9541

Administrative Offices:

(517) 355-0120