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Mammograms/mammography

Important breast cancer checks

Early detection is the best protection because finding breast cancer early improves the likelihood that treatment will be successful. Mammograms are safe and effective in detecting breast cancer in its earliest stage.

We make these recommendations for screening mammography if you have an average risk for breast cancer, based on American Cancer Society guidelines:

  • age 40-44: mammograms are optional
  • age 45-54: have a mammogram every year
  • age 55 & older: have a mammogram every year or transition to having one every two years
  • continue to have mammograms as long as your health is good.

If you have a higher than average risk for breast cancer, your health care provider may recommend a different schedule. Talk to your health care provider about your risk level. Together, you can decide what screening schedule is right for you.

To help you in your decision-making, please see our shared decision making aid: Should you start breast cancer screenings at age 40 or 45?

Learn more about 3-D mammograms.

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What it is

A mammogram is a low-dose X-ray picture of your breast used to check for breast cancer in women. The exam involves compressing your breasts between two panels for a few seconds so the X-ray can get a clear image of your breast tissue. You will feel pressure.

Your mammogram images will be taken digitally. This means images are captured and sent to a computer. The radiologist studies the images on a high-resolution computer screen.

Mammograms are safe, accurate and provide reliable results.

Good to know

Although mammograms are proven to find breast cancer in early stages, about 10% of cancers do not show up on mammograms.

Low cost mammography

Piper Breast Center works with the American Cancer Society and the Sage Screening Program to offer low cost mammography to eligible women. The goal of the joint project is to increase access to mammography for women who do not have health insurance, whose insurance does not cover the mammography cost or who are not eligible for free mammograms.

Interested women should meet the following eligibility guidelines:

  • be 40 years or over
  • no lumps or abnormalities detected
  • not be pregnant or breast feeding
  • not had a mammogram within the past year
  • not have a history of breast cancer

Related links

Source: Allina Health Patient Education Department
Reviewed by:

First published: 8/1/2018
Last reviewed: 8/1/2018

Allina Health Everyday Clinic

This is a retail clinic location. We offer basic services for minor injuries and illnesses for patients 18 months and older. We do not see visits for workers' or injury compensation.

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Everyday On Wheels

Everyday On Wheels mobile clinic is not wheel chair accessible due to the size of the vehicle. Patients should be able to safely climb a short set of stairs to enter the mobile clinic.

Please arrive 10 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time and have your mobile phone available for the provider to contact you when they are ready to see you.

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Only these primary care appointments can be scheduled online. For all other appointments or with any questions, call 1-888-425-5462.

What’s the reason for your visit?

Only these primary care appointments can be scheduled online. For all other appointments or with any questions, call 1-888-425-5462.