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Mammography

St. John's Episcopal Hospital offers digital mammography for early detection of breast cancer. Digital mammography provides several benefits over traditional mammograms that utilize film, including:

  • Clearer images, which may be beneficial for women under age 50 and women who have dense breasts
  • Less radiation
  • Images are stored electronically, making them easier for radiologists to manipulate for a better or close-up view

Fewer Call-Backs

The compression and positioning for a digital mammogram are the same as traditional mammography. However, digital mammography's sharper images generally result in far fewer call backs for additional images.

When should I have a mammogram?

If you're a woman 40 or older, the American Cancer Society recommends a mammogram every year to check for lumps or other abnormalities that may indicate early stages of breast cancer. Women with personal or family histories of breast cancer should consult their doctors about the need for more frequent or earlier mammograms.

Mammograms do not replace breast self-exams. Although mammograms can see cancerous lesions earlier than you can feel them with a self-exam, it is still important to examine your breasts every month.

Preparing for Your Mammogram

To ensure the best image quality, do not wear deodorant or powder on the day of your exam. Also, wear a two-piece outfit because you'll need to undress from the waist up. For your comfort, schedule your mammogram shortly after the end of your period.

American Cancer Society Guidelines for Mammography

Women over 40:
  • Get an annual mammogram
  • Obtain an annual clinical breast exam by a healthcare professional
  • Perform monthly breast self-exams
Women 20–39:
  • Obtain a clinical breast exam by a healthcare professional every three years
  • Perform monthly breast self-exams
To reduce your risk of breast cancer:
  • Breastfeed your children
  • Limit your alcohol intake
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Exercise regularly
To learn more

Consult with your doctor to determine when and how often you should have a mammogram. For additional information about breast cancer, visit:

American Cancer Society

Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation

American Breast Cancer Foundation

National Breast Cancer Coalition

BreastCancer.org

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