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Mammography

HSHS St. Mary's offers comprehensive mammography services with 3D technology

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Take some time for you. We get it -- you are busy. But you are important, too. Consider this fact: breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women in America. It's also one of the most treatable when detected early.  

Young female doctor with pink awareness ribbon explaining breast self-exams

Screening mammograms

The American Cancer Society guidelines recommend that women age 40 and older should have a screening mammogram every year. Screening mammography offers the best chance of finding breast cancer early. Finding breast cancer early means more treatment options and a better chance for a cure. 

You can schedule your mammogram online by clicking the button below or by calling 217-757-6565.

Woman receiving a screening mammogram

Early detection is the best way to protect against breast cancer

That’s why HSHS St. Mary's Hospital is transforming breast cancer screening and detection with the latest 3D mammography technology and a focus on your comfort. Our goal is to make breast health as easy as 1, 2, 3.

Instead of reviewing the breast tissue in a single, flat image, this technology folds together a series of images to create a 3D view, allowing doctors to see the tiniest details and find cancer in its earliest stages.

Advanced 3D mammography

At our Women’s Wellness Center, we offer 3D mammography, which allows the radiologist to examine the breast tissue layer by layer. Instead of viewing all the complexities of breast tissue in a flat image (as with traditional 2D mammography), fine details are more visible and no longer hidden by the tissue above or below.

This state-of-the-art technology provides the clearest possible images for early and accurate detection of breast cancers. This revolutionary process allows your physician to better distinguish masses or tissues that might be cancerous. 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. 

Extremely beneficial for patients with dense breasts (your doctor will be able to tell you if you have dense breasts).

3D Mammography offers these benefits:

  • 29% improvement in overall cancer detection.
  • Up to 40% reduced false positives.
  • Allows the radiologist to see masses and distortions associated with cancers significantly more clearly than conventional 2D.
  • Up to 40% reduction in recall rates (call backs) compared to 2D mammography.

Diagnostic mammography

Diagnostic mammograms are used to check specific breast changes found on physical exam or a screening mammogram. If you experience any of the following, please see your physician immediately:

  • Lump or swelling
  • Skin dimpling
  • Pain or tenderness in the breast
  • Unusual nipple discharge
  • Rash of the breast area that will not go away

A diagnostic mammogram requires a physician order.

Preparing for your mammogram

  • On the day of your mammogram, do not use any deodorant, lotion, cream or powder under your underarms or breasts – these could interfere with a clear mammogram.
  • Plan to wear a two piece outfit – you will only need to remove all articles of clothing from the waist up
  • Before the exam, when you schedule your appointment, describe any breast symptoms or problems you are having to the scheduler. If there are symptoms present or if you are under the age of 35, a physician’s order is required prior to the exam.
  • If you have had your last mammogram at another facility, the Radiologist/Hospital will need these films for comparison. Please request the facility to mail copies of your exams to St. Anthony’s Women’s Wellness Center. Another option is to request copies of your films from the facility and bring them with you to your exam.
  • COMPRESSION is the most important feature in acquiring a good image of the breast. The more compression you are able to allow, the better the view the Radiologist has of the breast. Compression of the breast may be uncomfortable; however, the procedure will last only a few minutes.
  • To increase your comfort ask for Mammo pad for your exam. The pad is placed on the machine to provide a cushion. We are the only facility in the region to offer this service to mammogram patients.
  • To reduce discomfort, if you notice your breasts are tender around the time of your period, schedule your mammogram for one week after your period ends. Do not drink or eat items with caffeine (coffee, tea, soda and chocolate) for one week prior to your mammogram. It also helps to take Tylenol or Ibuprofen (Advil, Aleve, etc.) about one hour prior to your scheduled appointment time unless restricted by your physician.