Centura Health is committed to providing high-quality, advanced digital mammography, including 3D mammograms, that help detect early signs of breast cancer.
Mammograms Save Lives!
With multiple breast care centers to choose from, we make scheduling your mammogram quick and easy. Locate a breast center near you.
Types of Mammography
A mammogram is the single most effective method for early detection since it can identify breast cancer in its early stages, even before any symptoms, such as a lump, appear. We’re proud to offer two types of advanced mammography at Centura Health: 3D mammography and digital mammography. 3D mammography complements standard 2D mammography, offering greater visibility for the radiologist to see breast detail. Both provide clear, precise results in minutes. And both offer a more comfortable experience than a traditional mammogram.
Women who are 45 or older with an average risk of breast cancer should have a screening mammogram and clinical breast exam every year. Yet women should be able to begin screening, if they choose to, at age 40. Women ages 55 and older can switch to a mammogram every other year or continue yearly mammograms. Some women, because of their family history, a genetic tendency or other factors, may need a mammogram at an earlier age or breast MRI in addition to a mammogram. While monthly breast self-exams are no longer recommended by the American Cancer Society, all women should be aware of how their breasts normally look and feel and report any change or abnormality to their health care provider.
3-D mammography, also known as tomosynthesis, is a highly advanced form of breast screening technology. During the exam, an X-ray arm sweeps over the breast, capturing multiple images of the breast at different angles. A computer then creates a 3-D reconstruction of the breast that a radiologist can review in 1-millimeter slices. 3-D imaging has increased the detection of invasive breast cancers by 40 percent, reduced false-positive rates by 15 percent and has created 40 percent fewer call backs for additional testing.
Standard mammography images are recorded on X-ray films. Digital mammography images are captured electronically and viewed on a computer screen within eight to 10 seconds. Their magnification, brightness, darkness or contrast can be “enhanced” to help your doctor more clearly see certain areas and subtle differences between tissues. Plus, the digital images can be viewed by another health care provider within the Centura system for consultation, if needed.
Some additional advantages of digital mammography include:
- Improved contrast for people who have breast implants
- Faster image time than standard mammography
- Fewer call backs for additional views when compared to standard mammography
Mammography: Answers to your frequently asked questions
How often should you get screened? Why should you choose 3-D mammography? What should you do if you have dense breasts? These are all common questions for which we can provide answers.
How often should I get a mammogram?
Women ages 45 and older should have a screening mammogram every year, as well as a clinical breast exam. Women at increased risk due to a strong family history of breast cancer should ask their physician about screening before age 45 as well as about the frequency of screening.
What should I know about breast density?
While it may sound scary, having dense breast tissue is in no way uncommon nor abnormal. However, women with dense breasts have a four to six times higher risk of developing breast cancer than women with minimal density. A mammogram can tell you the category of your breast density. Breast density (ratio of fatty vs. glandular/fibrous tissue) is recognized as a strong and independent risk factor for breast cancer.
How do I prepare for a mammogram appointment?
- Schedule your mammogram appointment for one week after your period. This timing helps ensure a more comfortable exam as your breasts are less tender after your period.
- Wear a shirt with shorts, pants or a skirt. That way, you can undress from the waist up and leave your shorts, pants or skirt on when you get your mammogram.
- Don't wear any deodorant, perfume, lotion or powder under your arms or on your breasts on the day of your mammogram appointment. These things can make shadows show up on your mammogram.
- Provide previous mammography films/images. We can help you get them if they’re located at another facility.
- While exam times may vary depending on the individual, typical exam times are as follows:
- Exam time for screening mammogram: about 25 minutes
- Exam time for diagnostic mammogram: about 45 minutes
Why choose digital mammography?
Peace of mind. A digital screening mammogram is the single most effective method for early detection since it can identify breast cancer several years before a lump can be felt or before other symptoms are present. Our breast centers offer advanced breast cancer screening with digital mammography, which produces a clearer image than traditional mammograms to help detect early signs of breast cancer.
How accurate is a mammogram?
Mammograms will find most, but not all breast cancers. Overall, mammography will detect about 85 percent of breast cancers.
What’s the difference between a diagnostic and screening mammogram?
A screening mammogram is your annual mammogram performed every year. If your screening comes back with any unclear areas, your radiologist may ask you to come back for follow-up images, known as a diagnostic mammogram. Additional imaging is used to rule out any unclear areas found on the screening. Diagnostic exams are also performed whenever an issue is identified in the breast by you or your health care provider. A diagnostic mammogram requires a written order from your health care provider.
Should I be concerned about radiation?
The benefits of mammography outweigh any possible harm from the radiation exposure. Modern machines use low radiation doses that expose you to no more radiation than what you’d experience from background radiation walking around your natural environment for a few weeks.
What’s more, all Centura breast centers are accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers and the American College of Radiology, which means you can rest assured you’re in a facility that meets standards for imaging quality and safety.