Early detection with a mammogram is crucial to increase your chances of fighting breast cancer. Screening mammogram is recommended for women with no symptoms in order to find cancers early if they are present. Capital Women's Care Howard County has partnered with Progressive Radiology which provides fellowship trained breast specialists to interpret the mammograms and are conveniently available in-office to read and interpret diagnostic mammograms when needed.

What is a mammogram?

A mammogram involves taking an X-ray picture of your breast. The team at Capital Women’s Care uses mammograms to look for signs of breast cancer, either after they find a lump or before you begin to show symptoms of the disease.

The X-ray images allow your OB/GYN to examine your breast tissue for abnormal changes they wouldn't be able to feel with a breast exam.

Why are mammograms important?

A high-quality, in-office mammogram plus breast exam by an expert provider at Capital Women’s Care is the most effective way to detect early signs of breast cancer. Early detection is the best way to improve your chances of successfully treating breast cancer.

How often should I get a mammogram?

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends the following: 

Women at average risk of breast cancer should be offered screening mammography starting at age 40 years. If they have not initiated screening in their 40's, they should begin screening mammography by no later than age 50 years.

Women at average risk of breast cancer should have screening mammography every one or two years based on an informed discussion of the benefits and harms of annual and biennial screening and incorporates patient values and preferences.

Women at average risk of breast cancer should continue screening mammography until at least 75 years. Beyond age 75 years, the decision to discontinue screening mammography should be based on a shared decision making process informed by the woman's health status and longevity.

What does it feel like to get a mammogram? 

When you get a mammogram, you stand in front of the Hologic Genius™ 3D Mammography™ Exam machine while a specially trained Mammogram Technician places your breast firmly between two plates. These plates flatten your breast tissue while the machine takes images. She repeats the process with your other breast. 

The team at Capital Women's Care Howard County strives to make your mammogram as comfortable as possible, but you may feel some pressure on your breasts. The entire test last only a few minutes, so any mild discomfort you experience is over quickly. 

How will I be notified of my mammogram results?

When a screening mammogram is complete the images will be read by the Radiologist usually within 24 hours (there can be a delay if any previous mammogram images need to be obtained) and then a letter will be sent to you either through our patient portal or the mail. 

Generally, when a diagnostic mammogram is done the Radiologist will advise you of the results when the mammogram is completed. 

What do the results of my mammogram mean?

If your mammogram shows normal results, you don't have to do anything else until your next recommended screening. since your doctor looks for changes in your breast tissue, it's helpful to continue getting mammograms at regular intervals. 

Abnormal mammogram results don't necessarily mean you have cancer, but you do need to get additional tests to find out. Please call to schedule follow up promptly. 

To schedule a mammogram screening for breast cancer, call Capital Women's Care Howard County today.