A mammogram is the first line of defense against breast cancer, and it remains the most reliable diagnostic tool for doctors. The American Cancer Society recommends a baseline mammogram between the ages of 35-39.
Who should have a mammogram?
Experts have different recommendations for mammography.
First mammogram: The American Cancer Society recommends that women get their first mammogram between ages 35 and 40. The radiologist will compare this baseline mammogram with your future mammograms. If your mother or sister has had breast cancer, you should get your first mammogram at age 35.
Regular mammogram: After you receive results from your first mammogram, talk with your doctor about your personal risk factors. Your doctor will likely recommend a regular mammogram every one to two years.
Currently, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening every two years for women ages 50 to 74. The American Cancer Society recommends yearly screening for all women ages 40 and older.
Are there risks involved with having a mammogram?
Radiation exposure from a mammogram is equivalent to the risk you normally receive from traveling 70 miles by air or 10 miles by car. The risks are minimal; the benefits are potentially lifesaving. All mammography units at Piedmont are digital units.
Mammography at Piedmont is accredited by the American College of Radiology. Accreditation ensures that women receive optimum mammography examinations with the lowest possible risk.
Is a mammogram painful?
To get the highest-quality image possible, the technologist will compress your breast during the mammogram. This will allow any small lumps or nodules to be seen more clearly with the least amount of radiation exposure. The compression is necessary to obtain quality mammograms and is not dangerous. However, you may feel mild discomfort for a day or two after the examination, which can usually be relieved by an over-the-counter pain medication.
Who will perform my mammogram?
Your mammogram will be performed by a female medical professional registered in radiology technology and certified to do mammography.
Who will evaluate my mammogram?
Your mammogram will be evaluated and interpreted at Piedmont Hospital by a board-certified radiologist (a medical doctor with special training in breast imaging). The radiologist will report your results to your physician.