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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 25: Have a risk assessment for breast cancer with your health care provider
  • Age 40-44: Should consider having a mammogram every year with your decision informed by a shared decision making process with your health care provider. During this process, he or she will explain the benefits and harms of screening.
  • Age 45-55: Have a mammogram every year.
  • Age 55 and 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?

If you are a current patient, you can schedule your appointment online using your Allina Health account. If you are new to Allina Health, call the clinic to schedule.

Learn more about 3-D mammograms.


Learn more

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

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.

We've changed how we provide some services with your care and safety in mind. Expanded virtual care services are available to schedule online. You can also call your clinic for help finding the best option.

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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.