What Is a Mammogram?A mammogram is an X-ray picture of the breast that can find cancer before it can be felt by you or your doctor. Every mammogram that requires followup is reviewed by a multidisciplinary team of experts who together plan a course of action.
Talk to your doctor about your risk of breast cancer and how often you should get screened. You can schedule a screening mammogram without a doctor's order.
Connie Lehman, MD, PhD
Simply put, mammography is the best way to detect breast cancer early. Breast cancer impacts so many women, their families and friends. And yet, when we find breast cancer early, it has the best chance of being cured.
Chief, Division of Breast Imaging
How Do I Prepare for a Mammogram?A screening mammogram takes about 15 minutes. A diagnostic mammogram may take a bit longer.
- Hygiene Products - On the day of your appointment, please do not wear any deodorant or antiperspirant, lotions or powders because they interfere with image clarity.
- Clothing - We suggest wearing a two-piece outfit such as a shirt and pants because you will be undressing from the waist up.
- Valuables - You can keep your things with you during your exam, but we suggest you leave your valuables at home so you don’t have to worry about them.
- Children - If you need to bring kids to your appointment, please bring someone to watch them in the waiting room.
- COVID-19 - You may notice some changes when you arrive for breast imaging services during this time. Learn more about how we're keeping you safe on Wang 2 and at Revere HealthCare Center when you come in for a screening mammogram.
Why Get a Mammogram?
Screening mammography saves lives and is covered by all insurances. Mammograms can find breast cancer early when it has the best chance of being cured. Watch these videos in English, Spanish or Portuguese and find out what happens when you come to Mass General for a screening.
What to Expect at a Mammogram
Find out what happens when you come to Mass General Imaging for your mammogram. During COVID, we are taking unprecedented steps to keep our patients safe. We have adjusted our operations and physical space so you may notice some enhanced safety measures when you visit.
Use these patient resources to learn more about mammography and breast health. You can contact us if you have any questions.
How Screening Led to Early Detection
Dolores Dunne LeGeyt is a former breast imaging technologist a Mass General Imaging. When she welcomed her patients, she often heard, “Why do I have to do this?” Her own story gives a compelling answer. “Early detection saves lives," she says. "I know it saved mine."
Division of Breast Imaging
The Division of Breast Imaging at Mass General provides our breast imaging services in collaboration with the Avon Foundation Comprehensive Breast Evaluation Center and the Mass General Cancer Center. It is staffed by a full team of breast radiologists, breast imaging technologists, nurses and care coordinators.