North Clinic's new state-of-the-art digital mammography is offered at our Center for Women's Health office. It is fully accredited by the American College of Radiology, the FDA and the State of Minnesota. Inspections of our mammography department are performed every year and North Clinic prides itself in our excellent performance.
Mammography is the most important tool in the early detection of breast cancer. A mammogram is an x-ray exam of the breast and is performed to detect and identify abnormalities of the breast that appear in the form of breast lumps, calcifications, fluid-filled cysts and cancer. All of our mammograms are read by a group of board certified radiologists.
Who should have a mammogram?
Mammogram screening is recommended for all women every 1-2 years starting at age 40-50 years. Your primary care provider may recommend a mammogram sooner or more frequently if you have significant breast symptoms or if you have been determined to be at high risk for breast cancer.
If I perform self-breast examinations, do I still need a mammogram?
It is recommended that all women perform monthly self-breast examinations. A clinical breast examination performed by your primary care provider is recommended every year. Because not all abnormalities can be detected by manual examinations, it is recommended that mammograms be performed according to the schedule outlined above under "Who should have a mammogram?" Information and instructions on self-breast examinations are available from you provider.
Scheduling a mammogram:
Mammogram examination preparation:
About the mammogram procedure:
You will be asked to undress from the waist up and will be given an x-ray gown to wear during the procedure. Each breast will be x-rayed individually and will be exposed only during the actual x-ray time. Views will be taken from the top and from the side of the breast. The technologist will position your breast on a special x-ray machine that compresses your breast in order to achieve the best radiographs possible. This compression will be uncomfortable but should not cause extreme pain. If you have found previous mammograms bothersome or extremely painful, you may wish to take buffered aspirin, Tylenol or Advil (provided you are not allergic to or have restrictions to any of these medications). You may take these one to two hours prior to your mammogram.
Getting your results:
Your mammogram films will be read or interpreted by a board certified radiologist. You will receive the results within one week via mail. A copy of the results will also be sent to your provider. Occasionally additional views are required to take a closer look at an area of one or both breasts. North Memorial Health Breast Center will call and ask you to return for these additional views if they are requested. These additional views are done at North Memorial Health Breast Center (formerly Hope Chest Breast Center) or Breast Center of Maple Grove and you will receive the results at the time of that appointment. If you are called back for additional views, please allow extra time, as these views usually take up to 45 minutes to complete. If you are called back, do not worry. This does not mean you have breast cancer, nor does it mean that your mammogram was performed incorrectly. In many cases, no further procedures are needed beyond these additional views.