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 O'Bleness and Morrow County hospitals, as well as Riverside Women's Center. Please call those locations to make your mammogram appointment. At OhioHealth, women with limited financial resources or medical insurance coverage may be eligible for assistance in paying for their mammogram. To ask about financial assistance options, please 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.
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
Be proactive: examine yourself
One of the most important things you can do to manage your breast health is to perform a monthly self-exam. This will help you become familiar with how your breasts normally feel. Talk to your doctor, if you notice any changes.
- STEP 1: LYING DOWN
Use the pads of your three middle fingers on your left hand to check your right breast. Use your right hand for your left breast.
Lie down on your back with a folded towel under your shoulder. Press using light, medium and firm pressure in a circle without lifting your fingers off the skin.
Follow an up and down pattern. Feel for changes in your breast, above and below your collarbone and in your armpit.
- STEP 2: IN FRONT OF A MIRROR
Look at your breasts in the mirror in these four positions. Look for any changes from normal.
- Hold arms at your side.
- Hold arms over your head.
- Press your hands on your hips and tighten your chest muscles.
- Bend forward with your hands on your hips.
- See Your Doctor if You Notice
- A lump, a 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 a rash on your nipple
- Nipple discharge that starts suddenly
- Nipple inversion