General Information About Mammograms
What is a mammogram?
For over 40 years, mammograms have given breast health specialists advanced diagnostic imaging to detect breast diseases, breast cancer and other breast issues in women, such as lumps in the breast, breast pain or nipple discharge. Mammography uses X-ray technology to determine if breast tissue is suspected of abnormal cell growth and to determine if a breast biopsy is needed.
The mammogram machine compresses the breast to spread breast tissue apart so that a lower dose of radiation can get an accurate X-ray picture. The resulting films are read by our experieinced team of radiolists, including our in house breast fellowship trained radiologist Dr. Hanae Bahr.
There are two types of mammograms:
When to Have a Mammogram
The American Cancer Society recommends that women who have no symptoms and are at average risk for breast cancer should begin yearly mammography at age 40. For women ages 20 to 40, a clinical breast examination is suggested at least every three years.
Every woman is different. As she ages, recommendations for screening are based on her current health status and estimated life expectancy. As long as a woman is in good health (with a life expectancy exceeding five years) she should continue with yearly mammography.
Increased-risk women have a family history of:
- Breast cancer at a young age
- Breast cancers affecting both sides on the same woman
- Ovarian and breast cancers
- Male breast cancers
If you have an increased risk for developing breast cancer, the American Cancer Society recommends that you check with your healthcare provider to schedule an appropriate breast screening for you. Knowing your risk is important for you and your family members. We offer genetic testing, breast cancer risk assessments and educational tools to give you all of the information you need.
Women who have breast cancer symptoms, such as a lump in the breast, breast pain or nipple discharge, should check with their healthcare professional to determine whether or not mammography is recommended, regardless of age or time between mammograms.
Mammograms at Kathryn Candor Lundy Breast Health Center
Talking to your primary care physician is very important; discuss the importance of self-breast examination and routine mammograms. Always talk to your physician if you have a concern or question. The staff at the Susquehanna Health Breast Health Center will work closely with your physician to coordinate the best care for you. If you need to schedule a mammogram, your physician will give you a referral to come to our breast health center.
To schedule a mammogram at the Kathryn Candor Lundy Breast Health Center, call our imaging line at (570) 320-7619. We also offer screening mammograms at Muncy Valley Hospital; call (570) 321-2545 to make an appointment.
To Screen or Not to Screen?
Leading breast surgeon at Susquehanna Health, Dr. Timothy J. Pagana, discusses controversy over mammogram recommendations.
Read the article