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Early detection is key to defeating breast cancer. HSHS St. John's Hospital performs mammograms to detect breast cancer at it's earliest stages.

Woman mammography technician performing a mammogram on young woman

HSHS St. John's is here to make access to mammograms convenient and accessible.

A mammogram is a non-invasive breast exam that can detect cancer. During a mammogram, a technician will use a special machine to take images of your breasts. The machine compresses the breast between two plates to provide a clearer picture of the breast tissue. A radiologist then reviews the images taken during your mammogram to identify any areas of abnormality and shares the results with your physician.

A physician's order is required to schedule a screening mammogram.

When should I have a mammogram?

Recommended screening guidelines are dependent on your health history and risk for developing breast cancer. Speak with your doctor to determine when you should start getting screening mammograms. Women of average breast cancer risk should start getting mammograms between ages 40 to 45 depending on their breast cancer risk. Regular screenings, which typically occur once a year, should continue as long as your doctor recommends.

Female mammography technician performing a mammogram

Digital and 3D mammography

Digital mammography replaces traditional X-ray film with a digital chip to record images of the breast. This process, also known as full-field digital mammography, makes it possible for the images of the breast to be viewed on a computer monitor or printed on a special film similar to traditional mammograms. 

The advantages of digital mammograms include faster image acquisition times, fewer total exposures and less patient discomfort. Breast health screenings that use digital mammograms have been proven to detect breast cancers better than conventional mammograms in three groups of women: those younger than 50, those with dense breasts and those who are pre-menopausal.

3D Mammography is the latest exam to be added to our advanced array of technology. This revolutionary process allows your physician to better distinguish masses or tissues that might be cancerous. In traditional mammography, the details of the breast are viewed in one flat image. 3D mammography allows the breast to be viewed in a series of layers, allowing the radiologist to more accurately interpret the images. 

The use of 3D mammography has proven to significantly reduce false positive callbacks and to be more accurate in detecting breast cancers early.