The American College of Radiology recommends an annual mammogram for all women starting at age 40.
Screening vs Diagnostic Mammogram
A screening mammogram is an x-ray of the breast in women who have no signs or symptoms of breast cancer. The objective is to detect abnormalities in the breast tissue.
Diagnostic mammograms are used when there is a problem with the breast, such as a lump or after an abnormality is found on a screening mammogram.
3D Mammography is Preferred
Red Bud Regional Hospital offers 3D mammography (tomosynthesis) to detect breast tumors and abnormalities. 3D mammography allows the physicians to see images of the breast in layers, improving visibility and detection of breast tumors, while reducing the frequency of “false positives” and the need for additional testing.
It is important to ask your provider if they offer 3D when you are scheduling your mammogram. 3D mammograms are recommended for all women, especially women with:
- Young and/or dense breasts
- BRCA mutation
- Family history of breast cancer
- Prior breast biopsy
- Radiation to the chest
- Must be at least one year since your last mammogram
- Must not be pregnant or breastfeeding
- Women with implants should have annual mammograms
- Best time to schedule a screening mammogram is the week after your menstrual cycle
- Do not schedule a mammogram for at least six weeks following any vaccinations
- A physician referral is not required for women 40 or older, but you must have a physician for reporting purposes
The Day of Your Mammogram
- Wear a two-piece outfit, you will need to remove everything from the waist up
- You may be asked to remove neck jewelry
- Do not wear any perfume, powders, lotions or deodorant on your breast or under your arms
- Avoid bringing children with you to your appointment
- Wear comfortable, flat shoes – avoid wearing high heels
- Screening mammograms typically take less than 30 minutes to complete
Schedule your 3D screening mammogram by calling Red Bud Regional Hospital’s Centralized Scheduling at 618-282-4900. Ask about Saturday appointments too!
You can request a screening mammogram without a physician’s order. A diagnostic mammogram requires a physician’s order.