What are Mammograms?
Mammography is performed by placing the breast on a special platform and then performing a special type of x-ray to look for breast cancer. A radiologist reads the images to check for signs of breast cancer and other breast health problems. Your women’s health provider will notify you if you need any further testing or exams.
Who Should Get a Mammogram?
It is recommended that most women begin mammography screenings at the age of 40. The more risk factors you have, the sooner you should start screenings. Mammograms should be done every one to two years and may end at age 75 depending on shared decision-making between you and your provider.
Speak to your provider about earlier screenings if you have any of these risk factors:
- A family history of breast, ovarian, and other types of cancer.
- BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations. These genes help repair DNA, and if they are mutated, it can put you at risk.
- If you have had a chest radiation treatment at a young age
- A history of high-risk breast biopsy results
What is a 3D Mammogram?
Also called breast tomosynthesis, 3D mammography is performed at the same time as the 2D mammogram. 3D mammography creates three-dimensional images of breast tissue. This imaging study is performed with the same equipment and in the same way as conventional mammography, but it uses computer software to create more detailed images. 3D mammography makes it easier to find abnormalities, which in turn results in fewer false positives and can help lower stress and anxiety surrounding extra testing.
A Note on COVID Vaccines and Mammograms
A common side effect of COVID vaccination is swollen glands in the under arm and collarbone area. This occurs as the immune system is activated. Although this is normal, it is important that if you delay your screening mammogram for 6 weeks following vaccination to avoid a false positive mammogram.
Don’t delay the scan if your mammogram is diagnostic instead of a routine check-up. Inform your doctor of the date you received the vaccine. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your provider if you have any questions or concerns regarding your mammogram and vaccine.
Sonography can be a useful addition to mammograms to assist in the detection of breast abnormalities. Similar to gynecologic ultrasound, a probe is placed on the breast and soundwaves are used to detect abnormalities of the breast tissue. Breast sonography can be performed as both a screening tool and for diagnosis purposes.
Schedule a Mammogram with Capital Women’s Care Today!
Our women’s health providers are passionate about ensuring that all patients receive professional, empathetic care. You can trust us to care about your health as much as you do. Contact Capital Women’s Care today to schedule your appointment! Your provider at Capital Women’s Care can help refer you to the appropriate breast imaging center.