Start your yearly screenings at age 40.
Or call (512) 453-6100 to speak to a scheduler.
A screening mammogram is an X-ray exam that uses extremely low doses of radiation to obtain accurate images of the breasts. These images are examined by radiologists to detect cancer. Mammography can reveal small cancers up to two years before they can be felt. The goal of a screening is to detect disease before symptoms occur, at its earliest and most treatable stage. It is estimated that 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime.
A note from the Society of Breast Imaging about mammograms and the COVID-19 vaccine
Some women who receive the COVID-19 vaccine develop swollen lymph nodes under their arm on the same side as their vaccine injection. This is a normal reaction that subsides after a few weeks. However, since swollen lymph nodes are one sign of breast cancer, you may want to schedule your mammogram before your vaccine or wait at least 4 weeks after your second dose. If swollen lymph nodes are seen on your mammogram, your ARA breast imager may ask you to return for more imaging. Both your mammogram and your vaccine are very important for your health. If you are already overdue for your mammogram, please don’t postpone it because of your vaccine appointment. Get more information from the Society for Breast Imaging here.
ARA recommends that women begin screening mammograms at age 40 and continue yearly thereafter. Your physician may recommend a screening mammogram before age 40, based on your risk factors for breast cancer. Your best defense against breast cancer is an annual mammogram, monthly breast self-examination, and an annual breast exam by your physician.
Screening mammography is for women who do not have breast symptoms. It is meant to detect cancer even before symptoms occur.
Diagnostic mammography is for women or men with symptoms of breast disease such as a lump, skin changes, or nipple discharge. Diagnostic mammography may also be used for women with a history of breast cancer and to evaluate problematic areas detected on a screening mammogram. If you have breast symptoms that are concerning, your provider should order a diagnostic mammogram.
ARA uses advanced 3D mammography technology for our screening mammograms. A 3D mammography unit takes multiple images of the breast and uses computer reconstruction to create 3D images of the breast. The breast is compressed between a clear plastic paddle and an imaging detector and the X-ray tube moves in an arc over the breast, capturing different angles. ARA radiologists can then scroll through all the images much like a book – one page at a time – to gain a better understanding of the structures inside your breast. Benefits of 3D mammography technology include:
To schedule a screening mammogram, please use our convenient online scheduling tool. You can also call our scheduling team at (512) 453-6100 or toll free at (800) 998-8214. No provider referral is required for a screening mammogram, but you will be required to provide the name of your primary medical provider, so we can send them the results of your exam.
One of ARA’s board-certified radiologists will interpret your mammogram and a written report will be sent to your medical provider within 3 working days. Please be aware that delays in sending reports can sometimes occur when previous exams are needed for comparison. You will receive a letter within 10 business days. If you have any questions about the results, please contact your medical provider. You can also view your exam report on our online patient portal 3 business days after your exam.
If you are getting a mammogram at ARA and want to know more,...
ARA continues to follow CDC guidelines in requiring employees and patients to wear masks at our imaging centers for the safety of all.