Mountain Medical

Screening Mammography:
A Powerful Weapon
in the Fight
Against Breast Cancer

Breast Health in Utah
Screening Mammography

Who Should Have Screening Mammography?

The current recommendations of the American Cancer Society, the American Medical Association, the American College of Radiology, and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology are that:

Every woman, starting at age 40, should have a screening mammogram every year.

  • This includes women with no family history of breast cancer since 80% of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history.
  • If your mother or sister had breast cancer before they went through menopause, you should start your yearly mammogram screening ten years earlier than the age at which they were diagnosed.

A physician referral is not required for a screening mammogram; however we will need the name of your physician to send your results.

If you are experiencing any changes in your breast such as a new or worrisome lump, nipple changes, or bloody discharge from the nipple, your physician should order a more comprehensive exam, called a diagnostic mammogram.

Why Screening Mammography?

Mammography is the only screening method that is consistently proven to reduce breast cancer deaths. It is the primary reason breast cancer deaths have declined by 30% since 1990 when screening guidelines were implemented in the United States.

Breast cancer starts out small without any symptoms, so women have no way of knowing it's there. In fact, it can take one to two years before the cancer is large enough that you can feel it as a lump. Breast cancer is 98% curable when it is diagnosed at an early stage, which is why yearly screening mammograms are vital to a woman's health.

What to Expect

Your mammogram will be performed by a highly trained technician who specializes in performing Mammography. She will use state of the art digital screening technology and positioning techniques to obtain high resolution x-ray images in a way that is comfortable for you.

Your mammogram images will be carefully evaluated by a board-certified radiologist who specializes in breast imaging. The radiologist will send a report to your primary care physician and you will receive a phone call or letter telling you of your results.

Is My Mammogram Affordable?

Mountain Medical understands that the affordability of healthcare is just as important to you as the quality of care. Fortunately, we offer both. Our affordable imaging services cost an average of 40% less than at local hospitals. We also offer interest free payment plans for your out of pocket costs and a discount for uninsured or cash paying patients. Don't let cost deter you from receiving the necessary healthcare.

Mobile Screening Digital Mammograms

Mountain Medical now offers screening digital mammography expertise on wheels. Our goal is to bring early breast cancer detection to women by providing you with a more convenient mobile solution.

Our patients will receive quality specialized care in a comfortable and private environment. Most appointments take less than 30 minutes from check-in to completion. Our 38 foot long mobile screening center is staffed by certified mammography technologists and features registration and waiting areas, private dressing rooms, and an exam room for completing the mammogram.

Our mobile mammography service is accredited by the American College of Radiology and certified by the FDA. Employer Wellness Programs especially benefit from this convenient service, which is available to travel to companies or other community groups. To learn more information about scheduling at your site, call 801-713-0593.

No More Excuses

Women today are very busy multi-tasking and taking care of everyone else. A recent study revealed that Utah ranks last in the nation for the number of insured women over 40 who get mammograms annually. Mountain Medical is committed to changing this statistic through our vision of bringing affordable and convenient screening mammography to you.

Under the Affordable Care Act, women's preventive health care services such as mammograms are now covered by health plans.

 

Common Questions:

Why should I be screened for breast cancer if I feel fine and have no lumps? Expand

Breast cancer is most commonly silent. It doesn't give you any symptoms the way other medical problems or cancers may. You can have breast cancer (especially small, early breast cancer) and have no awareness of it because it doesn't hurt, you can't feel it and breast cancer doesn't usually make you feel unwell.

Breast cancer is most curable when it is found at a small size and early stage. This is also when you are least likely to know it is there. That is why screening for breast cancer can be a life-saving choice.

What are the best recommendations to follow for breast cancer screening? Expand

The current recommendations of the American Cancer Society, The American College of Radiology and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology are:

  • Yearly screening mammography starting at age 40 for all women, including women with no family history of breast cancer.

If your mother or sister had breast cancer before they went through menopause, you should start your yearly screening ten years earlier than the age at which they were diagnosed.

I am afraid to have a mammogram because of what it might find. What if I don't want to know if I have breast cancer? Expand

Many women feel anxious about screening for breast cancer because a cancer might actually be found. If you are feeling well, why go looking for trouble?

In deciding what the best choice is for you; having good information can be helpful:

  1. There is a 99% cure rate for breast cancer when it is diagnosed at a small size, or early stage.
  2. Most women with small, early stage breast cancer feel perfectly well and can't feel any lumps in their breasts.
  3. Screening mammograms can find breast cancer when it is small and at an earlier stage than if you wait until you can feel it.
  4. Small, early stage breast cancer can often be cured without needing treatments like radiation or chemotherapy.

Why are yearly mammograms recommended? Why not every 2 or 3 years? Expand

Studies show that a 1 year interval for breast cancer screening is optimal for detecting the most breast cancers. There are different types of breast cancer and they can grow at different rates. Many breast cancers grow slowly and may take more than one year to be visible on a mammogram but some cancers grow quickly and are visible within a year of the previous mammogram.

Some breast cancers create very subtle changes on the mammogram. Having yearly images to compare over time may allow the radiologist to identify these subtle changes.

What good do yearly screening mammograms do? Expand

The largest long term follow up study to date has shown that women screened with mammography have a 30% reduction in death from breast cancer compared to women who are not screened with mammography.

This study tracked 133,000 women aged 40-74 for almost 3 decades. The study found that 414-519 women must undergo mammography screening for 7 years in order to successfully prevent 1 death from breast cancer.

Who should have screening mammograms? Expand

All women who are 40 years of age or older should have yearly screening mammograms.

Is there any reason to start having screening mammograms before 40 years of age? Expand

Yes. If your mother, father or a sibling were diagnosed with breast cancer before age 50 or before menopause you should begin annual screening mammography ten years earlier than they were diagnosed. In this situation you may benefit from other imaging screening tests in addition to yearly mammography.

Why should I have screening mammograms if no one in my family has had breast cancer? or
I don't have any family history of breast cancer. Do I still need yearly screening mammograms?
Expand

75% of women who get breast cancer have no family history of the disease. All women are at risk for breast cancer and your risk increases with increasing age.

For additional information click on this link: http://www.mammographysaveslives.org/Facts.aspx?CSRT=14659986357521061020

I live a healthy lifestyle. Why do I need yearly screening mammograms? Expand

Regardless of your lifestyle, the 2 greatest risk factors for breast cancer are being a woman and getting older . The average woman's risk of developing breast cancer in her lifetime is 1 in 8. It is difficult to reduce this risk even with a healthy lifestyle.

Unlike many types of cancer, breast cancer is not linked to smoking.

Abstaining from alcohol does not decrease your risk of breast cancer.

A healthy diet, rich in fruits and vegetables does not offer direct protection from breast cancer.

However, being overweight or obese does increase your risk of breast cancer. This is especially true if obesity occurs later in life, particularly after menopause. Therefore a healthy diet that maintains a healthy body weight is beneficial.

What is the chance that I will be called back for further imaging after my screening mammogram? Expand

For every 1000 women who are screened, approximately 80 will be called back for additional imaging evaluation.

If my screening mammogram isn't normal and they call me back for more imaging, what is the chance that I have cancer?

For every 1000 women who are screened, approximately 80 will be called back for additional imaging evaluation. For more than half of these 80 women (45) a few extra mammogram pictures and/or an ultrasound will show that there is nothing to be concerned about. For about 20 of the 80 women, the radiologist may want to have them return in 6 months just to be careful. For about 15 of the 80 women, the radiologist will recommend a biopsy, which is generally done today with a needle using local anesthetic, and approximately 5 of these women will be found to have breast cancer. This means that the risk that you will be found to have cancer, if you are called back, is less than 2%.

Will my insurance pay for yearly screening mammograms? Expand

Most insurance companies pay for screening mammograms once a year. You may find it under preventative services in your policy. It is always best to check with your insurance company prior to scheduling - just to make sure.

Medicare pays for one (1) screening mammogram every 12 months. They are very specific. If you had your mammogram in March of last year, then you must have your mammogram in march of this year. If you have your mammogram in February, Medicare will not pay for it.

How can I get a screening mammogram if I have no health insurance? Expand

The Utah Cancer Control Program (UCCP) provides cancer screenings and education to Utahns throughout the state. Through the Local Health Districts and other health care providers, the UCCP provides Pap tests, pelvic exams, clinical breast exams, mammograms and colonoscopies to eligible men and women.Other services include cholesterol testing, glucose testing, and blood pressure testing, as well as life-style counseling. To find out if you qualify for UCCP services, visit the “Eligibility” section of this website www.UCAN.cc, or call 1-800-717-1811.

The UCCP also works with the Utah Cancer Action Network (UCAN) to provide education on cancer prevention, early detection, and improving the quality of life for cancer survivors. UCAN is a community coalition of more than 100 members working together to fight cancer. For more information about UCAN, visit www.UCAN.cc.

Do I need to see my doctor before I can have a screening mammogram? Expand

You do not need an order for a screening mammogram. You will have to provide the name of a physician at the time of your appointment. You can call scheduling directly and have an appointment set up within a few days. If, however, you are having an issue with your breasts, you will need to see your physician for an order because, when you are having issues with your breasts, it changes from a screening to a diagnostic mammogram.

However, it is very valuable to have a breast exam prior to your mammogram. Having a clinical breast exam is just one step in the three part breast health program. The three parts include:

  1. Annual clinical breast exam by your provider
  2. Breast self -exam each month
  3. Annual screening mammogram

Again, having the clinical breast exam by your provider prior to your mammogram will give the physician the opportunity to verify that the mammogram should be a screening. If, however, a lump is found, then the provider knows you will need a diagnostic mammogram, and can write an order for it at the time of your clinical breast exam.

It is important to have a relationship with your provider. They will be able to help you navigate through the system if any follow up is needed after your screening mammogram.

If my screening mammogram is normal does that guarantee that I don't have breast cancer? Expand

A negative mammogram means that there is about a 90% chance you do not have breast cancer, if your breast tissue is almost entirely fatty tissue and about a 70% chance you do not have breast cancer, if your breast tissue is dense.

Screening mammograms, like all screening tests, are not perfect. They are the best test we have to help identify breast cancer and many cancers identified on screening mammograms are curable. All breast cancers identified with screening mammography will not be curable because of individual features of the cancer, the woman and other individual circumstances.

 

To Schedule your Screening Mammogram at our Imaging Centers:

5323 S. Woodrow Street, Suite 100
Murray, UT 84107
View Map
801-713-0600
murray@mtnmedical.com

1486 E. Skyline Drive, Suite 100
South Ogden, UT 84405
View Map
801-475-4552
ogden@mtnmedical.com

To Schedule our Mobile Mammography Coach at your business, please call 801-713-0593.