A screening mammogram is a diagnostic tool used for the early detection of breast cancers because it can show changes in the breast up to two years before a patient or physician can feel the lump. Screening mammography should be done annually beginning at the age of 40, unless there is a strong family history of breast cancer.
Who performs the procedure?
The procedure is performed by a Technologist with the assistance of a Radiologist.
Why is the procedure performed?
The procedure is performed to aid in the early detection of breast cancer.
Where is this procedure performed?
University of Maryland Medical Center
Breast Center, 1st Floor
22 South Greene Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201
Is there any prep for this procedure?
There is to be no perfumes, powder or deodorant applied on the day of the exam until your exam is complete.
What can I expect before the procedure?
Once you arrive at the Breast Center, you will have to register at the front desk. Please have your insurance information ready at this time. After registration, you will be instructed to remove everything from the waist up. Please wear a skirt or slacks to facilitate the change of clothes.
What can I expect during the procedure?
During the procedure, your breast will be placed on a special platform and compressed with a paddle that is often mad of Plexiglas or another plastic. The technologist will gradually compress your breast. You will need to hold very still and may be asked to hold your breath for a few seconds while the x-ray picture is taken to reduce the possibility of a blurred image. The technologist will walk behind the control panel to activate the x-ray machine.
How long is the procedure?
Plan to be in the office for one hour.
What can I expect after the procedure?
After the procedure, you will be asked to wait so the technologist can check the quality of your images. If your images are sufficient, then you will be free to leave and resume normal activity.
Are there any risks to this procedure?
There is a very low risk that one may have from the exposure to radiation.
Are there any alternatives to this procedure?
No, however, Breast MRI and Ultrasound may be considered for breast cancer screening in selected women.
How do I schedule an appointment?
Please call 410-328-6281/8313 for a Breast Imaging Specialist to schedule your appointment.
For more information about the Department of Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine or to contact one of our radiologists, call the University Physicians Consultation and Referral Service at 1-800-492-5538 (patients) or 1-800-373-4111 (physicians).
This page was last updated: October 24, 2014