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The Mammogram procedure

Mammogram screening has saved millions of female lives by detecting abnormal growths early in the breast tissue. This diagnostic method uses a traditional X-ray technique to produce images of the breast, which can tell with accuracy if there are any abnormalities in your breast. But complementing mammogram, a physical examination (clinical breast exam) must also be done by an expert in breast health, mainly to check the area of the armpit and the nipples.

We can differentiate between screening mammogram, recommended annually for every woman over 40 or for younger women with a family history, and diagnostic mammogram, which is part of the diagnostic procedure (along with lab test, biopsy) when any change is found in the breast. You will be referred to diagnostic mammogram if:

  • Your breasts are painful
  • The texture and color of your breast have changed
  • There is a lump in your breast
  • You have unusual nipple discharge
  • Your screening mammogram results show something suspicious

Try not to program the mammogram at the time of your menstrual period, as then breasts are especially sensitive. Mammogram has a reputation to be a rather inconvenient examination as your breasts must be squeezed between two plates to get a clear X-ray image. The mammogram procedure does not harm your breast, but you may find it a bit disconcerting. The whole procedure will not take more than half an hour and then a radiologist reads the results and you are informed about them within a few weeks. If your results show something abnormal, it does not necessarily mean that you have a malignant tumor, but you rather that you need further examinations:

  • Magnification mammogram
  • Ultrasound imaging
  • Biopsy

How Much Does a Mammogram Cost?

Luckily, either you have a state or private insurance, the mammogram cost is usually covered by insurers. Prices can vary significantly, depending on your location and the medical facility you choose. Mammogram cost can range between $50-$2,500, so be watchful, do a preliminary research and consult your insurer before you decide over the site of mammogram.