Mammograms

by Logan Jones

What is the procedure?

For a mammogram, your breast is compressed between two plates in order to take a black and white x-ray.

Why is the procedure used?

The procedure is used for screenings or diagnosis of breast diseases.

Who should have the procedure?

Women age 25+ should get a mammogram if they have symptoms like breast thickening or pain, a lump in the breast, nipple discharge, or sores.

When should the procedure be done?

The procedure should be done starting at age 40-45 for most women (earlier if there are symptoms).

What are the normal results of the procedure?

The procedure produces a black and while x-ray picture of your breast. Only about 1 or 2 out of every 1,000 mammograms lead to a cancer diagnosis.

What are the implications of abnormal results?

If you have an abnormal result (while only occurs in about 10% of women), it will require you to have an additional mammogram. Out of those women, only about 8-10% of those will need a biopsy, and out of those biopsies about 80% won't lead to cancer.