Get Your Mammogram
The Gold Standard for Detecting Breast Cancer
Mammography, X-ray of the breast, is used to detect breast cancer in its earliest stages, when it is small and most treatable. In fact, mammograms can detect 90 to 95 percent of breast cancers. Mammography is considered the best method for detecting breast cancer and the only screening method to lower mortality rates. It is recommended in combination with monthly breast self-exams and annual clinical breast exams. Early detection can lead to a greater range of treatment options, less extensive surgery, and better treatment outcomes.
Who Should get a Screening Mammogram
The American Cancer Society recommends that women:
- Age 20 or older perform monthly breast self-exams
- Ages 20 to 40 receive a clinical breast exam by a health care provider every three years
- Age 40 or older receive a clinical breast exam by a health care provider every year
- Age 40 or older get a mammogram annually and continuing as long as the woman is in good health
It's a Good Idea to Get a Mammogram
Our Breast Health Experts answer common concerns.
I am worried mammograms are painful
Mammograms may be uncomfortable, but they should not be painful. The reasons for compression are: it spreads out the tissue more evenly to better see your breast tissue, it lowers the radiation dose, and decreases motion or blurring in the images.
I am concerned about the cost of a mammogram
Many insurance companies cover screening mammograms. There are also funds and organizations to help cover the cost of a mammogram and breast health services if a patient does not have insurance or coverage. Please contact the Breast Health Program if you need assistance at the Center for Women’s Health location (989)837-9070, MidMichigan Medical Center - Alpena (989)356-7530, or MidMichigan Medical Center- Gratiot location (989)466-7253.
I am worried about what the doctors will find
Mammography is the ONLY method of screening for breast cancer that is proven to decrease mortality from breast cancer. The goal is to find cancer EARLY when it is still small and is the most treatable.
I don't have a family history
Of all women diagnosed with breast cancer, 75% have no family history and are not considered high risk.
I am worried about the radiation
Radiation exposure of mammography is very low. The American Cancer Society estimates that a single screening mammogram is equivalent to the radiation you are exposed to on a flight from New York to California on a commercial jet.
I don't have time
It usually takes about 30 minutes or less to have a mammogram at MidMichigan Health. We have a flexible schedule to find a time that best fits your needs. You can also conveniently schedule your screening mammogram through the MyMidMichigan Health portal at my.midmichigan.net.
I have Confusion about Getting a Mammogram
The Society of Breast Imaging has developed a video to help - End the Confusion: Breast Cancer Screening Whiteboard.
Types of Screenings Available at MidMichigan Health
How to Schedule Your Mammogram
To schedule your mammogram at one of MidMichigan Health's conveniently located breast-care centers:
- Get a mammogram order from your physician.
- Call MidMichigan Health scheduling at 1-888-367-2778, to schedule your appointment. In Alpena call (989) 356-8001, in Atlanta call (989) 785-5940 or in West Branch, call (989) 343-3200.
- Or self-schedule through MyMidMichigan Patient Portal, visit my.midmichigan.net.
- Seek financial-support information if you are concerned about how to afford a mammogram.