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What Is a Mammogram?

A mammogram may be performed as a routine screening or to check any lumps you or your provider may have found during a breast exam.  If mammography is needed, your provider will use X-ray technology to examine your breast tissue. A radiologist can then read the mammogram images created from the X-ray to check for signs of breast cancer.

Your comfort will always be top priority throughout this simple, routine screening.

When Should I Schedule Mammography Screenings?

You should begin scheduling mammography screenings at the age of 40 if you’re at average risk for breast cancer. You should have these screenings done every one to two years until at least age 75.

The following factors can indicate a higher risk:

  • A family history of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, or other inherited types of cancer
  • BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations
  • If you received chest radiation treatments at a young age
  • A history of high-risk breast biopsy results

If you have any of these risk factors, talk with your provider to determine how often a mammogram may be needed.

Mammograms and the COVID-19 Vaccine

Note that swollen glands in the armpit and collarbone area are common side effects of the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines. This is simply a likely sign that your body is making antibodies, as intended. However, these swollen glands may be confused with signs of breast cancer, so schedule any mammography screenings before your first vaccine dose or four to six weeks after your second dose.

Speak to Your Women’s Healthcare Provider About Mammography

If you’re nearing or over the age of 40, open a dialogue with your Women’s Health Arizona provider about your yearly mammography screening. Our 69 providers are here to put your health first, so contact yours to learn more about your breast health today!