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Mammography, or mammogram, uses X-rays to make an image of breast tissue while it is compressed between two plates. It is used to screen for signs of breast cancer.
At Dignity Health Central California, we see mammograms as a must, not a maybe. They are the best way to detect breast cancer, and our goal is to make getting one a little bit easier. That way, we can help maintain your overall health and well-being.
If you have a doctor order for a mammogram in Central California, make an appointment online at St. Joseph’s Women’s Imaging Center in Stockton or Mercy Women’s Imaging Center in Bakersfield.
Most women should begin having annual mammograms between ages 40 and 45. If you have an increased risk for breast cancer, you may need to start earlier. Your doctor will tell you when you no longer need to have this test each year.
Doctors use mammograms to:
You can help make your mammogram more effective by:
After a radiologist reviews your mammogram, your doctor will tell you what they found. You may need additional imaging tests to confirm the results. At Dignity Health Central California, we offer complete imaging services, including digital mammography, breast ultrasound, stereotactic biopsy, and bone density scans.
Mammograms are very safe tests. They use less radiation than a standard chest X-ray. But for some women they can be uncomfortable — especially when the breast is compressed between the plates.
It is also possible for a mammogram to find misleading results. They can miss the presence of breast cancer (false negative) or they can find an irregularity that is actually normal (false positive).
Help your screening be more accurate and effective by knowing what your breasts normally look like by practicing regular breast self-exams and getting regular clinical breast exams with your doctor. Our quick, online breast cancer risk assessment can help you learn more about mammography and breast cancer.