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Procedures A-Z

Mammogram Screening

MDsave price range: $100 - $358
Est. National average: $400 save $199

This procedure includes a digital screening mammogram of both breasts, for women who exhibit no signs or symptoms of any disease, complaint, or abnormality. This also includes computer-aided detection (CAD) of lesions obtained during the mammogram. Read more.


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What is a Mammogram Screening?

Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in women ages 20 to 59 worldwide, and the second most common cancer in women. Mammogram screenings can find cancer signs even before they can be felt.

A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast used to find tumors or tiny calcium deposits (microcalcifications) that may indicate the presence of breast cancer. Mammography uses special x-ray equipment to hold and compress the breast during imaging, which allows for a sharper picture and lower dose of radiation than standard x-rays.

Screening mammograms are preventive procedures used to check for signs of breast cancer in women who do not have any cancer symptoms. The screening mammogram generally consists of two x-ray images taken of each breast, though more pictures may be taken as needed. In women who have suspicious lumps or other signs already, a diagnostic mammogram is recommended. Diagnostic mammograms often capture more images of the breast, and can be unilateral (one breast only) or bilateral.

New 3D mammogram technology takes many images in a single pass across the breast and creates a three-dimensional image in a computer. Though 3D mammograms use slightly more radiation than standard 2-view mammograms, both are considered low dose x-rays. Images from both types of mammogram can often detect tumors or calcium deposits that cannot be felt.

What Can You Expect During a Mammogram Screening?

During your mammogram, you will need to undress from the waist up, but the facility will provide you with a wrap to wear. You will be in the room with a technologist, who will help you position your breast on the x-ray plate. In order to get the best possible image, your breast will need to be compressed in the machine. This may be uncomfortable, but each compression should only last for a few seconds, and the whole screening should only last about 20 minutes. After your mammogram, your facility is required to provide you a summary of your results within 30 days.