Screening and Diagnostic Mammograms to Detect Breast Cancer

Mammograms aid in the early detection of breast cancer, which helps to successfully treat breast cancer and improve patient outcomes. A mammogram is an imaging test that uses low-energy X-rays to examine the breast to screen for and diagnose breast cancer.

Mammograms are performed at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital. Appointment hours are:
Monday – Friday, 7 am – 6 pm
Saturday, 7 am – 3 pm

To schedule a mammogram, call 708-538-4917.

There are two types of mammograms used to detect and diagnose breast cancer:

Screening mammograms are performed on women without any breast symptoms or findings on clinical breast exam. Screening mammograms are recommended to look for any signs of cancer in the breast. The American Cancer Society offers guidelines for when women should have a screening mammogram. Your primary care doctor or obstetrician/gynecologist also can guide you about when to be screened.

Diagnostic mammograms are obtained in women who have a specific breast problem, such as a palpable breast or underarm lump, certain skin changes involving the breast, abnormal nipple discharge and focal (less than ¼ of the breast) or pinpoint breast pain. Diagnostic mammograms also are used in the evaluation of women with abnormal screening mammograms who are called back for additional views.

Diagnostic mammograms also are ordered for women who have a history of breast cancer or known high-risk breast lesion, and they may be ordered in women with breast implants and women who are repeatedly called back for additional imaging following a routine screening mammogram.

A diagnostic mammogram is performed in the same way as a screening mammogram, but additional images of the breast may be taken to get a closer look at areas of concern within the breast. Some diagnostic mammograms will be followed by a breast ultrasound examination targeted over the area of concern. It may find that an area that looked abnormal on a screening mammogram is actually normal, or that the area of abnormal tissue is most likely benign and not likely cancer. If so, it may need to rechecked in several months. Sometimes, the results may suggest that a breast biopsy is needed to see if the abnormal tissue is cancerous.