Breast Screenings, Ultrasounds, & Biopsies

Patients at the Redstone Health Center can make appointments for mammograms as part of the recommended women’s health care. Our discrete and experienced radiographers provide breast X-rays for both regular screenings and/or diagnostic mammograms.

Mammogram Screening Guidelines

Despite recent controversy regarding screening guidelines, at University of Utah Health, we continue to recommend annual screening mammograms for average risk women starting at the age of 40.

Based on accepted long-standing research, mammograms have been shown to decrease the chance of dying from breast cancer in women 40–74 years of age, with the most lives saved in women between 40-49 years of age.

Screening recommendations may be different for women at higher than average risk of breast cancer.

What to Expect at Your Mammogram

What to expect when you get a mammogram (infographic) | University of Utah Health
View infographic.

When you arrive, you will be asked to undress from the waist up and take off your deodorant. We will give you a robe to wear during the procedure. A mammogram usually involves two to three X-rays of each breast.

Because breast tissue can be very dense and difficult to screen, the mammogram equipment will press your breast between two plates to spread the tissue apart.

Does a Mammogram Hurt?

Most women find mammograms uncomfortable. During a mammogram, your technologist will press (or compress) your breast between two plates. The compression only lasts for a few seconds—just long enough for your technologist to get a good image of each of your breasts. It's important to get the best images possible.

Before your mammogram, ask your technologist to explain the procedure as well as any other questions you have.

How Long Does a Mammogram Take?

There are generally two types of mammograms: a screening mammogram and a diagnostic mammogram. A screening mammogram will take less time than a diagnostic mammogram.

  1. Screening mammogram: A screening mammogram is an X-ray of the breast used to detect breast changes in women who have no signs of breast cancer. By using a mammogram, health care professionals can detect a tumor that you can't feel with your hand.

Time: About 15 minutes

  1. Diagnostic mammogram: A diagnostic mammogram is an X-ray of the breast doctors use to diagnose unusual breast changes, such as a lump, pain, nipple thickening or discharge, or a change in breast size or shape.

A diagnostic mammogram takes more pictures than a screening mammogram. Health care providers also use diagnostic mammograms to evaluate abnormalities detected on a screening mammogram.

Time: Screening time depends on what the imaging specialist needs to make a diagnosis. But the screening usually lasts for 30-60 minutes.

Mammogram Results

Your doctor will receive your results, and you will then get a letter explaining these results. If you need more imaging, the clinic will call you within a few days of the screening exam.


From Our Specialists on Mammograms

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