Schedule Your Mammogram
But many of the changes your breasts go through during your lifetime aren’t something you need to stress about. These benign (not cancerous) changes can happen. The important thing is keeping track of them. One way your healthcare provider can do that is with a mammogram.
Cleveland Clinic’s expert team uses mammography to find, check and track changes to your breasts. Our breast imaging specialist have the experience and clinical expertise to know the difference between noncancerous things that show up on the scans and lumps that might be breast cancer. When we do see something that needs treatment, we move quickly. A rapid diagnosis means that you start treatment right away.
Why Choose Cleveland Clinic for Mammography?
Many members of our radiology team (providers who read imaging tests) have fellowship training in breast imaging. This specialization means we are experts in interpreting breast images and doing image-guided procedures.
Each of our radiologists looks at and interprets more than 50 mammograms each day. This high number enhances our expertise so you can be confident in our ability to identify anything abnormal.
Comfort and convenience:
Count on our mammography technologists to ease your anxiety and make the experience as comfortable as possible. Our friendly team offers mammograms at many locations so you can get care close to home. We also offer walk-in screening mammogram at some locations.
We use the newest tools to get detailed views of breast tissue. These images help us determine if more testing is needed.
Our American College of Radiology-accredited mammography program meets all requirements of the Mammography Quality Standards Act. This means we meet or exceed national benchmarks for image quality and staff qualifications.
Breast Imaging at Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland Clinic experts offer a full range of breast imaging services to screen for breast cancer and diagnose changes in breast tissue. We offer:
A screening mammogram is an X-ray imaging test that helps find changes in your breasts before you even see or feel a difference. If you have an average risk of breast cancer, it’s recommended to start getting an annual screening mammogram at age 40.
Your provider may recommend screening earlier than age 40 if you have:
- A family history of breast cancer.
- Had breast cancer before.
This provides a baseline that gives your healthcare provider important information about your breast health. They will compare your baseline mammogram to future mammogram results to see if — or how — your breasts have changed.
Talk with your healthcare provider about when a screening mammogram is right for you. Also ask if you would benefit from additional screening methods, like breast MRI.
If our experts see areas of concern during a screening mammogram, we may recommend that you have a diagnostic mammogram. We create more detailed views of your breasts using specialized 3D mammography (digital breast tomosynthesis) and magnification.
During a diagnostic mammogram, our technologists take additional images that the radiologists requests. These extra X-rays help our experts look at the area that was flagged for concern in more detail.
Your healthcare provider may order a diagnostic mammogram if you find symptoms during a breast self-exam, including:
- Breast lumps.
- Breast pain.
- Breast rash or skin changes.
- Nipple discharge.
Other breast imaging tests at Cleveland Clinic
When our breast imaging experts need more information about breast tissue changes after your diagnostic mammogram, we may recommend more imaging tests. These tests may include:
- Breast ultrasound.
- Image-guided breast biopsy.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the breast.
What to Expect During Mammography at Cleveland Clinic
During a mammogram, our technologist will have you stand at a low-dose X-ray machine used only for breast imaging. They’ll move your breasts and arms into the positions needed to get images of your breasts.
You’ll stand still while the machine compresses your breast. You might feel some discomfort while the machine is compressing your breast, but this process helps us take images that show all your breast tissue.
Conditions We Diagnose With Mammography at Cleveland Clinic
Mammography is an important tool that helps us figure out what’s going on with changes to your breasts. Some of the things our radiologists can find and diagnose with mammography include:
- Calcifications: Breast calcifications are calcium deposits within your breast tissue. Larger deposits (macrocalcifications) and tiny deposits (microcalcifications) may be an early sign of breast cancer.
- Cancers:Breast cancer happens when cells in your breast grow in ways they shouldn’t. Tumors may form or you may notice changes to the skin or nipple.
- Dense breasts: Dense breasts contain less fat and more milk-producing glands (lobules) and other tissue. Having dense breasts may put you at higher risk for breast cancer.
- Masses: Breast masses are areas of your breast tissue that have a distinct shape. Masses may be fluid-filled (breast cysts) or solid and non-cancerous (fibroadenomas). Some masses may be breast cancer.
You might be at higher risk of developing breast cancer because of dense breast tissue, genetic predisposition or a family history of the disease. Our specialists may refer you to experts in our breast cancer program for a personalized plan to prevent or treat cancer.
Taking the Next Step
Your breasts change over time. Some of these changes are no big deal and just need to be watched. This way, we can know if they’re ever a cause for concern. Other times, your mammogram may find something serious that needs to be treated right away. When we find something, you can trust that Cleveland Clinic’s experts will make sure you understand what’s going on and move quickly to get you the treatment you need.
Getting a mammogram with Cleveland Clinic’s experts is easy — whether it’s scheduled or walk-in, we’re here to help.
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Walk-In Mammograms at Cleveland Clinic Locations in Ohio
Life's busy. But it's important to fit that annual mammogram into your schedule. Cleveland Clinic makes it easy to get one. Some of our Ohio locations offer walk-in mammograms — without an appointment — so you can get your screening when it works best for you.
Wondering if walk-in mammograms are right for you? This might be a good option for you if you’re:
- Assigned female at birth and are getting a screening mammogram.
- Age 40 and up.
- Not experiencing any symptoms like pain or nipple discharge.
- Not feeling any lumps.
You do not need a doctor’s order for a walk-in mammogram, except for visits at Lakewood Family Health Center.