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Mammography screening

New Guidelines For Mammograms

What women have been told about mammograms keeps changing. Recently, new guidelines about when women should start having them has caused some confusion. Listen as Dr. David Williams - Breast imaging radiologist with Novant Health Breast Center in Charlotte, discusses the reasoning behind the changes.

Request a mammogram appointment

Our online request an appointment feature is for patients who would like to schedule a future appointment and is not intended for same day appointments.

Screening mammogram appointments do not require a physician’s order.

Mammography screening is the best method for finding breast cancer in its earliest stages, when cure rates are the highest. It can reveal small tumors up to two years before you or your doctor can feel them during a breast exam. If a tumor or other issue is detected, you may also need a diagnostic mammogram or other breast-imaging to pinpoint the cause.

At Novant Health Imaging, our skilled technologists have advanced training in breast imaging and are certified in mammography. We are accredited by the American College of Radiology.

The American Cancer Society recommends that women age 40 and older have annual screening mammograms in order to detect breast cancer even when no symptoms are present.

Screening mammography looks for unsuspected changes in the breast tissue. Diagnostic mammography is utilized when a patient has consulted with her doctor or health care provider, and there is a known change that needs to be investigated.
We offer both screening and diagnostic mammograms:

  • Screening mammograms help us find unsuspected changes in your breast tissue
  • Diagnostic mammograms are performed if we find a change in your breast tissue with a screening mammogram or if you have had a previous breast cancer diagnosis
  • 3-D mammography (breast tomosynthesis) produces three-dimensional images of the breast, leading to better cancer screening and detection.

These tests use low-level X-rays, which are the best screening methods for the detection of abnormalities in your breasts.

3D Tomosynthesis

Digital Breast Tomosynthesis/3D Mammogram is a revolutionary new tool that help doctors detect breast cancer earlier then previously possible. This technology allows the physician to see thin mammography sections of the entire breast. This results in better detail without the superimposed tissue above and below each section that can hide abnormalities on the traditional two-dimensional image provided by mammography.

3D Mammography

For your safety

Tell your physician or the technologist performing the exam if there is any possibility that you are pregnant. Your doctor may postpone the exam to reduce the possible risk of exposing your baby to radiation.

Preparing for a mammogram

  • Do not use deodorant, powder or lotion under your arms or on your breasts before having a mammogram
  • Wear a blouse or top that is easy to remove
  • You will be asked to complete a series of questions about your medical history
  • Tell your technologist if you have breast implants

What to expect during a mammogram

During your mammogram, your breasts will be gently but firmly compressed to provide a clear picture. This can be uncomfortable for some patients, but the test does not last very long. After your mammogram you may have some skin discoloration due to the compression. This is temporary and normal.


A radiologist will review your exam images and report the findings to your doctor. Your doctor will then discuss the findings and next steps with you.

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