Mammography: Answers to common questions

When do you start? What are the benefits? A Sanford Health specialist explains

A mammography machine and breast image on a screen in a breast cancer screening room.

Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in women. One way to catch breast cancer early is to get a mammogram. Allison Clapp, M.D., answers frequently asked questions about mammograms.

1. Are mammogram results instant?

After getting your mammogram, a radiologist will interpret the results. Currently, Sanford Health has a three-day waiting period before the results become available.

2. Are mammograms free?

Many insurance providers cover mammograms, though it’s best to check with your provider to find out what kind of coverage they offer.

3. What age do you start getting mammograms?

Most medical professionals recommend starting mammograms at age 40. If you’re considered high-risk, you may need to start sooner. Genetics can play a role in determining your risk for breast cancer.

4. Are mammograms necessary every year?

Annual checkups are the best way to detect breast cancer. These yearly checkup appointments can help medical professionals catch breast cancer before it becomes a major concern.

5. Do mammograms hurt?

The medical professionals at Sanford Health work to make your mammogram as comfortable as possible. If you do experience mild discomfort, your technologist can make adjustments to relieve any pain.

6. What types of mammograms are available?

Sanford Health offer two types of breast cancer screenings: 2D mammograms and 3D mammograms. 3D mammography, an advanced form of screening, is the most effective tool for diagnosing breast cancer.

7. How often should you get a mammogram?

Detecting breast cancer early can make it easier to treat. That’s why medical leaders encourage women to get annual exams.

8. How long do mammograms take?

Mammogram appointments are quick. Your total appointment time, from the moment you arrive to the time you leave, will take less than 25 minutes.

9. Are mammograms dangerous?

Mammograms are a safe, effective way for diagnosing breast cancer. Since breast cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in women, it’s important to get your annual checkup.

10. When can I stop getting mammograms?

Your provider can help you determine when to stop getting mammograms. Most medical professionals recommend getting a mammogram every year until your life expectancy is less than 10 years.

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Posted In Cancer, Cancer Screenings, Family Medicine, Health Information, Imaging, Women's

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