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Mammography

Give one hour to your health.

Mammography is an X-ray examination that uses extremely low doses of radiation to obtain accurate images of the breasts. It is the best way of detecting small cancers even before they can be felt. Getting a mammogram is still the gold standard for breast cancer detection, and the American Cancer Society recommends an annual mammography screening beginning at age 45. However, women can start breast cancer screening with mammograms if they wish to do so, as early as age 40. While the exact cause of breast cancer has not been found, we do know that it is treatable and can often be cured when detected early. Mammography, physician examination, and breast self-examination are the three components of a complete screening program for early breast cancer detection.

Services Available at St. John’s:

  • Breast Ultrasound  
  • Digital Mammography  
  • MRI of Breast  
  • Ultrasound Guided Biopsies  
  • 3D Digital Breast Tomosynthesis  

3D Mammography

For women with dense breast tissue, 3D mammography is a powerful technology that enhances our ability to detect cancer and gives physicians a fuller picture than with traditional mammography alone. Compared to traditional mammography, 3D imaging only takes an extra moment to capture multiple images of breast tissue from different angles for a more complete picture.

Learn More

Stereotactic Breast Biopsy

Mammography, which detects abnormal growths in the breast, is revolutionized at our sister hospital, St. John’s Hospital Camarillo, with the use of stereotactic breast biopsy. The surgical breast biopsy provides a less invasive way to detect growths in the breast that may be too small or deeply buried to be felt with breast self-examination.

Dr. Lisa Babashoff, Medical Director of the Breast Program at St. John’s Hospitals, talks about the importance of mammograms — and why women should not delay their yearly screening during the COVID-19 pandemic.

How to Prepare for Mammogram Screening:

  • Scheduling your exam when you will be between periods — your breasts may be extra tender right before or during menstruation
  • Sending previous mammogram results before your appointment if this is your first time at the facility  
  • Not applying powder, lotion, deodorant, or perfume under your arms to prevent shadows from appearing on the mammogram  
  • Telling both the technologist and scheduler if you have breast implants — they require special techniques that can take more time  
  • Wearing a skirt, shorts, or pants instead of a dress so only have to undress from the waist up

After a radiologist reviews your mammogram, your doctor will tell you the results. You may need to repeat the mammogram or have a breast MRI or breast ultrasound to confirm the results. Both of these imaging services are available at Dignity Health North State hospitals.

What to Expect When Getting a Screening Mammogram

  • You’ll have to undress above the waist to get a mammogram. The facility will give you a wrap to wear. 
  • A technologist will position your breasts for the mammogram. You and the technologist are the only ones in the room during the mammogram.
  • To get a high-quality picture, your breast must be compressed. The technologist places your breast on the machine’s plate. The plastic upper plate is lowered to compress your breast for a few seconds while the technologist takes a picture. 
  • The whole procedure takes about 20 minutes. The actual breast compression only lasts a few seconds. 
  • You might feel some discomfort when your breasts are compressed, and for some women, it can be painful. Tell the technologist if it hurts.
  • Two views of each breast are taken for a screening mammogram. But for some women, such as those with breast implants or large breasts, more pictures may be needed.

Stereotactic Breast Biopsy

Mammography, which detects abnormal growths in the breast, is revolutionized at our sister hospital, St. John’s Hospital Camarillo, with the use of stereotactic breast biopsy. The surgical breast biopsy provides a less invasive way to detect growths in the breast that may be too small or deeply buried to be felt with breast self-examination.

Every Woman Counts

Every Woman Counts (EWC) provides free clinical breast exams, mammograms, pelvic exams, and pap tests to California’s underserved women.  To qualify for the clinical breast exams, pelvic exams and pap test you must be 21 year old or older.  Screening mammograms are available to women 40 years of age or older.  Diagnostic mammograms are available to women of any age who have an abnormal breast symptom. All women must be of low/no income and meet the EWC Income Criteria as well as have no insurance or limited insurance and live in California.

 

Schedule your appointment today


To make an appointment at Rolling Oaks Radiology-
St. John’s (located in the Medical Pavilion), please call (805) 436-0460.
Details & DirectionsRolling Oaks Radiology-St. John’s
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To make an appointment at St. John's Hospital Camarillo, please call (805) 775-8985.
Details & Directions: St. John's Hospital Camarillo