Breast Cancer Screening
The Swedish Breast Centers are a network of imaging centers that offer the most advanced technologies to screen for breast cancer. A screening mammogram is a study done for women who are not having any breast symptoms. The goal of this procedure is early detection. Due to the increase in women getting screening mammograms, more and more breast cancers are being caught at the earliest, most treatable stages. If you are scheduled for a screening mammogram but develop a symptom, please let the technologist know before she begins the exam.
Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines
We understand there are many different breast cancer screening recommendations. This can be confusing. If you are at average risk for breast cancer, talk with your health care provider to determine what is best for you.
Swedish Cancer Institute endorses the guidelines of the American Cancer Society, which recommend that women ages 40 and older:
- Obtain annual breast cancer screening mammograms
- Have an annual clinical breast exam
- Consider performing regular self-breast exams
Women with a higher-than-average risk of breast cancer should meet with a specialist at a high-risk clinic to develop an individualized breast cancer screening plan.
Convenient Breast Cancer Screening Options
At Swedish, we respond quickly to requests for mammograms, and we will work with you to get a breast cancer screening scheduled as soon as possible.
Swedish has multiple mammography screening locations. We have weekday, evening and weekend appointments available to accommodate the busy lives of our patients. To schedule a screening mammogram, call a location that works best for you. Mammography locations.
The Swedish Cancer Institute also has a mobile mammography program, the Swedish Breast Care Express. This program brings high-quality mammography services to communities, organizations and businesses throughout western Washington.
Breast Cancer Screening Technology
Swedish offers conventional digital mammography as well as digital breast tomosynthesis, also known as 3-D mammography. With tomosynthesis, an X-ray beam sweeps through the breast in an arc and takes pictures of multiple "slices" of breast tissue. A radiologist then looks through the series of images. Digital tomosynthesis allows the detection of small abnormalities that may be hidden by normal breast tissue. It also allows the radiologist to tell the difference between a clump of normal tissue and a true mass.