Mammograms

One in eight American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Mammograms are still the key to early detection.

That’s why Edward-Elmhurst Health offers annual screening mammograms (no physician order needed) that you can schedule online. Don’t wait. Go online, find a time that works for you, and schedule your appointment today. It’s that easy.

Schedule a no-order annual screening mammogram near you

schedulingicononlineSchedule Online Now

or call 630-527-3200.

Schedule a screening mammogram near you

schedulingicononlineSchedule Online Now

or call 630-527-3200.

What is a mammogram?

This Edward-Elmhurst Health “Healthy Minute,” about the importance of mammograms to detect breast cancer, includes sound bites from Dr. Alyssa Papuga, a family medicine physician with Edward Medical Group.

A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast, and the single most effective method of early breast cancer detection. It can help detect breast cancer in its earliest stages — before physical symptoms develop — by locating tumors that are too small or too deep to be found by breast examination. 

Mammograms help save lives by detecting cancer early. Mammograms can also help improve the chances of breast conservation and prevent the need for extensive treatment of advanced cancers.

Edward-Elmhurst Health performs an average of nearly 50,000 mammograms each year. Our experience in administering and interpreting this lifesaving diagnostic test speaks for itself.

Learn the top 10 reasons women avoid mammograms, and facts to change your mind.

What is a screening vs. a diagnostic mammogram?

A screening mammogram differs from a diagnostic one. A screening mammogram checks for breast cancer in a woman who shows no signs or symptoms of the illness. A diagnostic mammogram is used to check for breast cancer in a woman who has a lump, symptoms of disease, or is identified as high risk.

What is a 3D mammogram?

Edward-Elmhurst Health offers a revolutionary new breast imaging tool called three-dimensional (3D) mammography, also known as breast tomosynthesis. A 3D mammogram takes multiple digital images of breast tissue from a variety of angles to create a 3D picture of the breast. This helps our radiologists identify and characterize individual breast structures without the confusion of overlapping tissue.

3D mammography makes it easier for doctors to catch breast cancer early, reduces the chances of a false positive result, and is especially helpful for women with dense breast tissue.

Schedule online to find locations that offer 3D mammography or call 630-527-3200 and ask for a 3D screening mammogram.

How dangerous is radiation from a mammogram?

Modern-day mammography involves a tiny amount of radiation exposure, even less than a standard chest X-ray. While repeated X-rays can increase the risk of breast cancer over time, the risk is very small. Studies show the benefits of receiving a mammogram outweigh the risks of radiation exposure for most women. Read our blog to learn more.

What happens during a mammogram?

During a mammogram, a woman’s breast is placed on a flat support plate and compressed with a parallel plate called a paddle. This evens out the tissue and the thickness of the breast so the mammography unit can get a clear picture of the breast.

Do mammograms hurt?

Everyone experiences mammograms differently. Some women feel nothing at all, while other women are more sensitive. You can make your mammogram more comfortable by scheduling your appointment after your menstrual cycle has completed and avoiding caffeine. Consider taking an over-the-counter pain medicine like acetaminophen (Tylenol) to help ease discomfort.

When should I get a mammogram?

The decision about when and how often to get a mammogram is a personal choice you should make after talking with your doctor.

A mammogram is recommended annually for women starting at age 40 and then every two years from ages 50-74. Women at high risk for breast cancer should begin screening earlier. Your doctor can help you decide when and how often you should get screened.

Why get a mammogram at Edward-Elmhurst Health?

Edward-Elmhurst Health has been designated a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology (ACR), and both hospitals have earned accreditation by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC). Accreditation by the NAPBC is granted only to those centers that are voluntarily committed to providing the best possible care to patients with diseases of the breast.

Edward-Elmhurst Health performs an average of nearly 50,000 mammograms each year. All of our mammography exams are read by expert physicians who are board certified by the ACR. We also offer a Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Program, a High-Risk Breast Clinic and leading-edge breast technology and care.

Do I need a referral?

At Edward-Elmhurst Health, you do not need a doctor’s order to request an appointment, as long as you are age 40 or older and you do not have any symptoms or a history of breast cancer.

Protect your health and make an appointment with same-day results. Schedule your annual screening mammogram online now.

How do I schedule a mammogram?

Edward-Elmhurst Health makes it easier to schedule your mammogram and get your results. We offer convenient appointments and same-day results for mammograms and you don’t need a doctor’s order to request an appointment (as long as you are age 40 or older, and do not have symptoms or a history of breast cancer).

Schedule your annual screening mammogram online now or call 630-527-3200.

Dense breasts or previous breast cancer?

Molecular Breast Imaging (MBI) is a new way of providing functional images of the breast. This new technology supplements mammography by helping to detect breast cancer in women with dense breast tissue and those with a higher risk of breast cancer.

Unlike mammography, MBI does not use X-rays, but rather principles of nuclear medicine in detecting a tumor. This gives your physician the ability to compare anatomical and functional images from similar perspectives and look at cellular activity within the breast, instead of focusing on breast tissue.

A doctor may recommend an MBI exam when additional functional information about a suspected lesion is required either during diagnosis or treatment of breast cancer. A physician referral is required for an MBI. Contact your physician to determine if MBI is right for you.

Schedule your annual screening mammogram online now or call 630-527-3200.

Breast biopsy for abnormal mammogram

If your mammogram revealed abnormal results, your doctor may recommend a breast biopsy to determine if the abnormality is benign or cancerous. According to the American Cancer Society, four out of every five biopsies performed are not cancerous.

After your biopsy is complete, a tiny clip, unique in shape, will be placed in the breast to mark the site of the tissue sampled. The breast coordinator in Radiology will talk with you about the clip prior to your biopsy. These small clips, once inserted, are undetectable to the human touch and the material cannot be picked up by metal detection devices (such as at the airport).

After your biopsy, we'll contact you to review your results. If the biopsy results are positive, you'll receive more detailed next steps, such as an appointment at the Breast Biopsy Results Clinic to meet with a radiologist and discuss a plan of action.

Learn more about breast biopsy

Breast education and prevention

Looking to stay on top of your breast health? Edward-Elmhurst Health offers leading-edge breast technology and care. Whether you are striving to maintain your breast health or regain it after a cancer diagnosis, our multidisciplinary team has you covered.

Learn more about breast health services at Edward-Elmhurst Health

Know your risk

Do you have five minutes to assess your breast health? Take our free, confidential screening to learn your risk of breast cancer and get recommendations for next steps.

Take the BreastAware assessment

Depending on your health and family history information collected during your mammogram, you may be referred to our Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Clinic to determine eligibility for additional breast cancer screening, risk reduction strategies and/or genetic testing.

Check out our related blogs