A mammogram is an X-ray of the breasts (mammary glands) used to screen
for breast problems, such as lumps or small tumors that can be seen
before they can be felt.
Mammograms do not prevent breast cancer or
reduce a woman's risk of developing cancer but they can detect cancer
early, when it is more easily treated. About 5% - 10% of mammograms require further testing. This may
include an additional mammogram view or a different test, such as an
ultrasound, biopsy tissue sampling or MRI.
A mammogram is often uncomfortable but rarely painful. If you
have sensitive skin, fragile skin or a skin condition, let your
technician know before your exam. If you have menstrual periods, the
procedure is more comfortable when done within the week after your last
period, especially if your breasts become tender before your period
Tell your health professional if you:
- Are or might be pregnant
- Are breastfeeding
- Have breast implants
- Have previously had a breast biopsy
If you have previously had a mammogram done at another clinic, have the results sent or bring them with you to your examination.
The ACR gold seal of accreditation represents the highest level of image quality and patient safety. It is awarded only to facilities meeting ACR Practice Guidelines and Technical Standards after a peer-review evaluation by board-certified physicians and medical physicists who are experts in the field.