Mammography is recommended annually above age 40. For women with a family history of breast cancer, screening usually begins 5 years earlier than the youngest age of diagnosis. Mammograms are the only screening method that can detect micro-calcifications, which can be associated with early breast cancer or precancer. The Radiology center will inform you of normal results or the need for additional imaging. Established patients who have access to their patient portal are able to view their mammogram results online.
If a woman has family members with breast cancer she may be offered genetic screening; this is particularly true if there are several first-degree relatives or relatives with cancer at a young age. Please refer to the ovarian cancer screening section below for more information on genetic screening.
Dense Breast Information
Breasts are composed of glands that make breast milk and fatty tissue. For women with extremely dense breasts, referred to as category D breast density, the mammogram can be less reliable. PMG patients in this category will be offered a screening breast ultrasound to be performed 6 months after the mammogram.
During a screening breast ultrasound, both breasts will be viewed entirely with the ultrasound at a Radiology facility. This is different than a diagnostic breast ultrasound performed on a specific area in response to an abnormality found on a mammogram or felt by the patient or her doctor.