A screening mammogram is performed on people who have no breast cancer symptoms. This examination includes two standard views of each breast taken to detect concerning findings too small or too deep to feel. During the procedure, an X-ray machine sends a small amount of radiation through your breasts to produce images that are later examined by a board-certified breast radiologist at Northwestern Medicine.
Studies show that the most lives are saved if you are screened every year beginning at age 40. If you are at higher-than-average risk of developing breast cancer, it may be important for you to get screened earlier than age 40. Your physician will help you create a screening plan based on your personal and family history.
Digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT), or three-dimensional (3-D) mammography, produces multiple images of the breast from different angles. You will not notice a difference from your usual mammography experience, as it still requires compression of the breast. However, the information obtained from this type of mammogram enables the breast radiologist to more easily detect cancer. In addition, fewer patients have to come back for additional unnecessary testing with this type of screening.