An uncomfortable couple of minutes getting a mammogram could just save your life. This simple X-ray procedure plays a key role in early breast cancer detection and survival.
A mammogram can be used either for screening or for diagnostic purposes:
- Screening mammography finds breast cancer when it’s too small for you or your doctor to feel.
- Diagnostic mammography checks out a problem you’ve already noticed, such as a breast lump, breast pain or nipple discharge. A diagnostic mammogram is also performed when a woman has an abnormal screening mammogram that requires further investigation.
When to get a mammogram
Beginning at age 19, women should develop a routine to perform self breast exams and have a physical exam by a doctor annually to detect potentially cancerous lumps.
- Women ages 40 to 74 should get mammograms every year.
- Women 75 and older should continue to get screened if they are in good health and are expected to live 10 or more years.
Following a mammogram, you may receive a letter notifying you that you have dense breasts. This means you have more fibrous or glandular tissue than fat. This is more common in young women. Women with dense breasts have a modestly elevated risk for breast cancer. It is important to discuss your results and family history with your doctor to determine appropriate screening measures.
If you have a family history of breast cancer, you should start annual screening mammograms before you reach age 40. Recent advancements in test methods, such as 3D mammography, ultrasound or breast MRI, provide additional benefits for women with dense breast tissue or a family history of breast cancer. To find out if your risk means you could benefit from one of these additional tests, talk with your Mercy OB/GYN.
Don’t wait. To schedule a mammogram or other breast cancer screening, contact Mercy at one of the locations shown below. Our goal is to keep you healthy, active and doing things you love.
What's next if I have an abnormal mammogram?
- 100 W. U.S. Highway 60
Mountain View, MO 65548
- (417) 934-7000
Hours of Operations:
Open daily 24 hours.
- 1500 Calvary Church Road
Festus, MO 63028
- (636) 933-5745
Hours of Operations:
Monday-Friday: 6 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.