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What is a mammogram?

A mammogram is a low-dose X-ray of the breast. It can detect a breast lump nearly two years before it can be felt. Screening mammograms evaluate breast health in women with no symptoms, and are used for those who seek routine breast evaluation. Mammograms are performed to examine breast tissue and recognize abnormalities.

When should I get a mammogram?

Diagnostic mammograms are used to diagnose breast disease in women with symptoms of a breast problem:

  • dimpling, a change in texture of the skin of the breast
  • a lump
  • discharge from the nipple

Women should start receiving mammograms every one to two years, starting at age 40.

How do I prepare for a mammogram?*

Do not wear lotion, deodorants, powders, or creams on your chest before a mammogram.

If your breasts are usually tender the week before your period, do not schedule your mammogram for that time.

Make sure to tell your doctor or technologist about any breast problems or symptoms, any prior surgeries, hormone use, or family/personal history of breast cancer.

What should I expect during a mammogram?*

During a mammogram, a breast technician will place your breast in the mammography unit, on a special platform.

The technologist will gradually compress your breast with a special paddle.

Your breast is compressed in order to:

  • even out the breast thickness so that all of the tissue can be visualized
  • spread out the tissue so that small abnormalities are less likely to be obscured by overlying breast tissue
  • allow the use of a lower X-ray dose since a thinner amount of breast tissue is being imaged
  • hold the breast still in order to minimize blurring of the image caused by motion
  • reduce X-ray scatter to increase sharpness of picture

The process will be repeated for the second breast.

The whole process should take about 30 minutes.

You will feel pressure on your breast as it is being compressed, if you have sensitive breasts, you may experience some discomfort.

Always let your physician know if you are experiencing significant discomfort

*Information obtained from the National Cancer Institute, www.cancer.gov and Radiology Info, www.radiologyinfo.org

Is Hunterdon an accredited mammography center?

The Hunterdon Regional Breast Care Program is accredited by the American College of Radiology  as a Mammography Center.  Hunterdon Medical Center is also the only Breast Center in Hunterdon County to be accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers.

How can I schedule my mammogram?

To schedule a mammogram, call:

                        Hunterdon Women's Imaging Center
                        121 Route 31, Suite 500
                        Flemington, NJ 08822
                        Phone: 908-782-4700
                        Fax: 908-782-0076

All Hunterdon Medical Center mammography is performed at our Hunterdon Women's Imaging Center located at 121 Route 31 in Flemington.