Mammograms are an important tool in your overall breast health. They can reveal problems before you have symptoms. They can detect breast cancer when it’s small and easier to treat.
Baystate’s highly trained team of radiology experts uses the latest digital equipment, including 3D mammography, to perform more than 60,000 mammograms a year.
Our experience – combined with the latest technology – means greater accuracy and peace of mind.
Most women should start screening mammograms at age 40. If you are at high risk due to family or personal history, your doctor may recommend that you begin regular screenings before age 40. Once you begin, you should expect to have a mammogram at least every one to two years.
WHAT IS A MAMMOGRAM?
A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast. It can show potential problems – such as a breast lump, a cyst (fluid filled sac), or a build-up of calcium or fatty cells – before you or your doctor can feel them.
Like all X-rays, mammograms give off very low doses of radiation. But the benefits of mammography are much greater than the potential harm.
There are two kinds of mammograms:
- Screening mammograms typically include two views of each breast taken from different angles. Mammograms are the only proven method for finding certain types of abnormal growths in the breasts. Five to 15 percent of women will need a follow-up exam or biopsy after a mammogram.
- Diagnostic mammograms are used to look for signs of breast cancer when you have symptoms – such as a lump, pain, or nipple discharge – or when your doctor sees suspicious results on a screening mammogram. Diagnostic mammograms are typically more detailed than screening mammograms.