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A mammogram is an specialized X-ray of the breasts. It is used to detect breast cancer. Doctors recommend that women start getting regular mammograms between the ages of 40 to 45.
Find a Doctor with expertise in breast health, including mammography, in the Bay Area at Dignity Health. Our OB/GYNs and other specialists offer quality women’s services with a philosophy of care, dignity, and respect at our local hospitals and specialty centers:
Your doctor may recommend a mammogram for the following reasons:
Prepare for a mammogram screening at Dignity Health by:
A mammogram involves undressing from the waist up. For your comfort, most mammogram centers employ female technologists.
During the mammogram, a radiologic technologist places one of your breasts on an X-ray plate and compresses it by lowering another plate. You will be asked to hold your breath while the X-ray is taken.
Mammograms are safe procedures, but can be slightly uncomfortable when the technologist compresses your breast between the plates. Mammograms use very small amounts of radiation — less than a standard chest X-ray. There is no recovery time needed after a mammogram.
Your health care provider will call you within a few days with the results. If an abnormality is found, you may need another mammogram or a different type of imaging test, such as an ultrasound.
Mammograms are a highly effective tool for breast cancer screening, but they are not foolproof.
It’s possible for a mammogram to suggest an abnormality when it is actually normal or to miss a breast cancer entirely.
Help take control of your well-being by knowing common breast cancer signs, getting regular breast exams, performing regular breast self-exams, and knowing what your breasts normally look like. For assistance, talk to your Dignity Health doctor today.