Prevent Breast Cancer

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Routine care for women of all ages is vital to keeping you and your breasts healthy. This includes an annual mammogram alongside a clinical breast exam.  

Know your body. Be aware of changes. Signs of breast cancer are different for everyone. It is important to know how your breast normally look and feel. Learn more about how to keep your breasts healthy and prevent breast cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, nearly one in every eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Fortunately, breast cancer deaths are declining, due to early detection strategies and improved treatments. Screening mammography contributes to almost 50 percent more lives saved in women who undergo it.

Mammogram Screening Near You

You can receive a mammogram at Huntsman Cancer Institute or at one of University of Utah Health’s neighborhood health centers. We offer the following services:

  • Screening mammogram for breast cancer. Your mammogram will be read by an expert breast radiologist from Huntsman Cancer Institute and University of Utah Health.
  • Expert care. If you've been diagnosed with breast cancer or other breast conditions, we can offer you expert care.
  • Genetic counseling. Genetic counseling is available if you're concerned about your chances of developing breast cancer based on your family history.

Coming From Another Institution?

If you are coming to us from another institution, we ask for a copy of your most recent mammograms for comparison, which can result in delay. Prior images help radiologists compare, look for changes, and avoid unnecessary procedures.

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What Is a Mammogram?

A mammogram (also called mammography) is a special kind of X-ray examination of your breast. Doctors use mammograms to detect and diagnose breast cancer in women who have symptoms in their breast (like lumps or pain) or for women who have no symptoms at all.

A mammogram lets doctors detect:

  • breast cancers,
  • benign tumors, and
  • cysts.

Often mammograms can show these before they can be felt by hand or through touch.

3D Mammogram

Our locations offer tomosynthesis, a state-of-the-art technology that produces 3D images of the entire breast at multiple angles. This helps the radiologist better distinguish abnormal tissue from normal tissue.

Breast Cancer Mammogram Screening Guidelines

How Often Do I Need a Mammogram?

Huntsman Cancer Institute and University of Utah Health recommend that all women receive a breast cancer screening (mammogram) every year starting at the age of 40.

Breast cancer screening from your doctor helps find breast cancer early, when it is easier to treat. Multiple studies have found that screening every year starting at 40 saves the most lives of breast cancer, even in women with no family history.

Talk to your doctor about what cancer screenings are right for you. Screening recommendations may be different for women at higher-than-average risk and women who have a family history of breast cancer. Women who are at a higher-than-average risk may need additional screening exams.

Patient getting a mammogram at a mammogram machine

What to Expect at a Mammogram

When you arrive, your nurse will ask to undress from the waist up and take off your deodorant. We will give you a robe to wear during the procedure. A mammography technologist will escort you to a private mammography room. The technologist positions you in the machine and takes on average four images, two for each breast. 

Because breast tissue can be very dense and difficult to screen, the mammogram equipment will press your breast between two plates to reduce blur from motion, reduce radiation to the breast, and spread tissue to ensure an accurate test.  

The compression only lasts for a few seconds – just long enough for your technologist to get a good image of each of your breasts. Do not hesitate to ask your technologist to explain the procedure. They can answer any other questions that you may have.

Print How to Prepare for Your Mammogram (multiple languages)

Mammogram Results

Radiologists, who are experts in breast imaging, review the mammography images. Patients usually receive results within 24 hours, generally on the same day.

If you need more imaging, the clinic will call you within a few days of the screening exam.