Mammography & Breast Cancer Screening

Advanced technology to detect and diagnosis breast cancer, including 3D mammography.

Breast cancer can strike anyone – gender, age, health – making regular breast cancer screening important. Screening tools including mammography (a specialized X-ray evaluation of the breasts) and advanced breast imaging exams like digital breast tomosynthesis (3D mammography) can detect cancer early, when it is most treatable.

At Henry Ford, we recommend that average-risk women undergo yearly mammograms beginning at age 40.

Our specially trained radiologists read all mammograms and other imaging results. Our technologists also have completed additional training in mammography. If you need additional testing, our diagnostic nurse navigators will support you through the process.

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Breast screening and diagnostic tests

Our breast cancer team includes the expertise of a dedicated breast imaging faculty, featuring a dozen fellowship-trained breast radiologists. We offer the most advanced technologies available to detect, diagnose and manage breast cancer:

  • Mammograms, including digital mammograms and digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT, also called “3D mammography”), which is recommended for women with dense breasts
  • Breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and whole-breast ultrasound are useful in special circumstances, such as screening women at high risk for breast cancer.
  • Molecular breast imaging (MBI) is designed to increase early detection of invasive breast cancer in women with dense breast tissue. This test is used in addition to digital mammography or 3D mammography.
  • Breast ultrasound
  • Computed tomography (CT), including CT scans combined with positron emission tomography (PET/CT)
  • Nuclear medicine
  • Sentinel node biopsy, which is the surgical removal of only the sentinel lymph node under the arm, which provides important information for the doctor on the next steps in treating your breast cancer.
  • Stereotactic biopsy, A minimally invasive procedure that uses x-ray for guidance and localizes the nodule to accurately obtain samples to send for testing.
  • Automated whole breast ultrasound (ABUS), a 3D breast screening option for women with dense breasts.

Procedure

  • You will need to undress from the waist up.
  • The technologist will position your breasts to get the best test results.
  • Each of your breasts will be compressed. This helps get the most complete x-ray image.

Preparation

  • Arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment.
  • Bring a prescription if your doctor has given one to you.
  • Do not apply underarm deodorant, powders, ointments or creams to your chest area the day of your scheduled exam. These products can show up on the images.
  • Bring prior mammography exams from other facilities with you at the time of the current exam.
  • If you are lactating, please nurse or pump prior to your mammogram.

Considerations

  • If you are pregnant or could possibly be pregnant, screening mammography should be postponed until after pregnancy unless your physician determines there are clinical concerns. In this case, mammography should not be postponed and diagnostic mammography should be performed.

Mammogram Preparation Tips

Nervous about your mammogram? Knowing step-by-step what to expect during your mammogram can help put your mind at ease.

Preparing for your mammogram

Understanding Breast Cancer Risk

1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Take steps now to reduce your breast cancer risk.

Breast cancer risk

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If this is an emergency, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency department.

For your safety, please select a MyChart video visit on demand or call our MyCare Advice Line at 844-262-1949 before scheduling if:

  • You currently have a temperature greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
  • In the past 21 days, you have been diagnosed with COVID-19
  • In the past 14 days, you have had contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19
  • You are experiencing a new loss of taste and/or sense of smell
  • If you have experienced two or more of the following symptoms in the last 3 days:
    • fever
    • chills
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    • headache
    • sore throat
    • runny nose or nasal congestion
    • nausea/vomiting/diarrhea

Henry Ford Health System is committed to ensuring our Deaf or hard-of-hearing patients and visitors have equal access to all services. We provide the appropriate auxiliary aids and services, including qualified sign language interpreters, TTYs and other assistive listening devices, at no cost. To request assistance, call 313-916-1896 or email CommunicationAccess@hfhs.org.

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