Mammograms & Screening
The Center for Breast Care's Breast Imaging Center is an American College of Radiology Breast Imaging Center of Excellence. We offer a full range of the breast imaging services, including screening and diagnostic mammography, ultrasound, MRI, and image-guided biopsy. We are one of the leaders of breast imaging service in the Chicagoland area and our radiologists are specially trained in breast imaging.
UI Health is committed to using the most advanced screening technologies that aid in the early detection of cancer which includes digital mammography.
Digital mammography offers a number of practical advantages and patient conveniences:
- Increase Image Quality
- Shorter Exam Time
- Improved Appointment Access
- The ability to increase contrast when imaging dense tissue, which is important as dense breast tissue and malignant cells both appear to be white on a mammogram.
- Digital images are easily stored and retrieved.
- Digital images allow for the use of computer-aided detection and objective breast density assessment software to aid the radiologist in interpreting the mammogram.
UI Health recommendations:
- Women begin annual screening mammography at age 40.
- Women who are at an increased risk of breast cancer, for example due to family history breast cancer or a personal history of chest radiation for lymphoma, should have a conversation with their doctor about earlier screening and additional breast screening tests, such as MRI.
- Women ages 35 to 39 may obtain one baseline mammogram.
- Screening should continue as long as a woman is in good health and is expected to live 5 more years or longer.
All women should be familiar with the known benefits, limitations, and potential harms linked to breast cancer screening. They also should know how their breasts normally look and feel and report any breast changes to a health care provider right away.
A screening mammogram is recommended annually for women who are 40 years or older, or for younger women with specific risk factors for breast cancer. They are used for the early detection of breast cancer.
What is a mammogram?
A mammogram is an X-ray picture of your breast. It can find breast changes that are too small for you or care provider to feel.
What is the procedure like?
You stand in front of the x-ray machine and place your breast between two plastic plates. These plates press each breast to make it compressed to get a good picture.
Does it hurt?
When the plates press your breast, this "squeeze" might hurt for 4–11 seconds (per view). Some women say that it is uncomfortable; others say that it is not at all. In general, more compression generates better images.
How long do I have to wait for my results?
The results will be read by a Radiologist the same day as your screening. A letter with your results will be mailed no later than the following business day to you and your primary care provider.
What happens after I receive my results?
If your results are negative you will continue with your annual screenings and care plan determined by you and your primary care physician. If something is seen on the mammogram, it does not mean that you have breast cancer. Your primary care physician will be notified, and you will come back to UI Health to receive different mammography projection or other tests that radiologist interpret. Then your doctor can make the best plan for you.
Click here for more information on the different diagnostic and follow care procedures.
For more information or to make an appointment, call 312.413.4900.