Annual mammograms are important for breast health
Mammograms can reveal nearly 90 percent of breast cancers as early as two years before a lump can be felt, giving you the best chance for successful treatment. Beginning at age 40, all women with average risk should have an annual mammogram. It generally takes 30 minutes or less, and you can easily find appointment times at OhioHealth that fit your schedule. No prescription is needed for a screening mammography for women 40 and older.
Not all locations offer online scheduling, including Morrow County Hospital, Nelsonville Health Center and the Riverside Women's Center. Please call those locations to make your mammogram appointment. At OhioHealth, individuals with limited financial resources or medical insurance coverage may be eligible for assistance in paying for their mammogram. To ask about financial assistance options, call your mammography location.
We offer 3D digital mammography
For several years, OhioHealth has offered advanced 3D digital mammography, known as breast tomosynthesis, to patients who require specialized testing because of dense breast tissue or a history of breast cancer. You may benefit from a 3D digital mammogram if you’re an individual:
- Under 74 who has had prior mammograms showing dense breast tissue.
- With a history of breast cancer.
- Who has never had a mammogram or needs to establish a baseline.
Due to billing changes in healthcare, there will be an additional charge for 3D mammography that may be covered by your insurance. Check with your insurance provider prior to your appointment.
3D digital mammography cannot be scheduled online. Call a location to make an appointment.
Are you at risk?
Risk factors for breast cancer include those you cannot change, such as family history, and those you can, such as lack of exercise. Know what may be putting you at risk, and talk with your doctor about ways you can change or manage it.
- Risk factors that cannot be changed
- Gender, age and race
- Genetic risk factors
- Family or personal history of breast cancer
- Breast density
- Risk factors linked to lifestyle
- No children or having children later in life.
- Regular alcohol consumption.
- Being overweight or obese, and lack of exercise.
- Using combination estrogen and progesterone hormone therapy after menopause.
- Ways to lower risk factors
- Regular physical activity
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Avoid or limit alcohol intake
Monthly breast self awareness
Self breast awareness helps you become familiar with how your breast normally feels. This involves feeling and looking at your breasts at the same time each month. Report any breast changes to your doctor.
See your doctor if you notice:
- A lump, hard knot or thickening.
- Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening.
- Change in size or shape.
- Dimpling or puckering of skin.
- Itchiness, scaly skin, a sore or rash on your nipple.
- Nipple discharge that starts suddenly.
- Nipple inversion.
COVID-19 vaccine and your screening
One side effect some people experience from the COVID-19 vaccine is swelling of the lymph nodes under the armpit.
Although the swelling is a normal part of the immune response to the vaccine, it can mirror a symptom of breast cancer, which has caused some undue concern on mammograms.
In this OhioHealth Medical Minute, Natalie Jones, MD, a breast and melanoma surgeon and chair of the OhioHealth breast health program, and Lauren Miller, MD, a radiologist who focuses on breast imaging, explain how the vaccine can affect your screening, and when to schedule your mammogram if you plan to get the vaccine or have recently received one.