How to Prepare for your 3D Screening Mammogram

When you schedule your routine mammogram screening, be sure to let us know if you have any of the following:

  • Breast implants
  • History of breast cancer
  • Dense breast tissue
  • Family history of breast cancer
  • Require extra exam time
  • Need additional accommodations such as:
  • Wheelchair use or dependant who need front-door wheelchair access;
  • Difficulty standing without assistance for 20 minutes;
  • Hearing impaired or needing a translator who can be provided by us upon advanced request.

If you live a long distance away, let us know if you need your images read at the time of your exam. Please also let us know if you will be having any breast surgery, starting hormones, or beginning any treatment in the near future so that we may forward your results to all specialists involved.

On the day of your appointment, we ask that you not apply deodorant. Wear a two-piece outfit if possible. You will change into a robe that gives the mammography technologist better access to perform the imaging exam.

Please tell us the location of your prior examinations so that we may request these ahead of your visit. Many radiology departments use PowerShare to electronically send your images to us. Note that some facilities will not release the outside images to us until you have signed a release form. Our digital film librarian will gladly facilitate this process for you at: 303-321-2273 x 237

What to Expect During a Mammogram Screening

If this is your first mammogram, don’t worry. We will walk you through the process of what positions are needed to obtain the best images and ensure you are comfortable during the imaging exam at every step. 
Before the Screening

The technologist will position each breast onto a rectangular curved paddle and then apply gentle pressure. The amount of pressure needed for the correct exposure is based on the thickness and density of the breast.

During the Screening

We want to keep the breast in the same position, to avoid motion that may cause blurriness of the image. The mammography technologist will ask you to hold your breath for a few seconds while she obtains the exposure. Typically, two views of each breast are obtained. You will be repositioned four times (once for each view of each breast). If you have breast implants, four views will be obtained for each breast, for a total of eight images.

After the Screening

If you have prior mammograms elsewhere, they may be requested for the radiologist to compare before an opinion is rendered. You should receive a result letter in the mail within a week if no previous mammogram comparison is needed. Please check your address carefully on your intake form, as the letter will be sent to that address. A report will also be faxed to the ordering clinician you list on your intake form.

Mammogram Screening Near Me

Meet Our Specialists

Our radiologists are fellowship-trained in breast and women’s imaging and minimally invasive breast biopsy, far exceeding the national standards. They have trained at the most rigorous institutions in the county and have received the highest awards for excellence.

Kelly McAleese, M.D.

Timothy Colt, M.D.

Barbara Jaeger, M.D.

John Lewin, M.D.


Frequently Asked Questions About Mammograms

What is the difference between a Screening Mammogram and a Diagnostic Mammogram?

A 3D Screening Mammography is “the big picture” while Diagnostic Mammography is “the detail”. A screening mammogram is a routine low-dose x-ray of the breasts performed to detect small abnormalities before they can be felt on an exam. A diagnostic mammogram is performed to evaluate a breast concern such as breast lump, discharge, pain, or to further characterize an abnormal area seen on a screening mammogram.

What happens during a Screening Mammogram?

The mammography technologist will walk you through the process of what is needed to obtain the best images. The technologist will position each breast onto a rectangular curved paddle of the mammogram machine and apply gentle pressure to obtain the x-ray images. You will hold your breath for a few seconds for each view to avoid motion on the images. The technologist will provide instructions on how and when you will obtain your results. 

How accurate is a Screening Mammogram?

Screening Mammograms are able to detect findings as small as grains of sand or subtle masses before they can be felt on palpation. The patterns of the mammogram abnormalities determine the degree of suspicion. Most abnormal findings on a screening mammogram prove to be benign (noncancerous) on additional mammogram views or ultrasound. Findings that are persistently suspicious on the additional evaluation are biopsied. 

What if a Mammogram Abnormality Is Found?

If you are called back for “a closer look at an area” after a 3D mammogram screening, remember that most findings on a mammogram prove to be benign after additional workup. Since all of The Women’s Imaging Centers are integrated, we can quickly and seamlessly complete your diagnostic imaging workup. An abnormal finding may be related to fibrocystic or hormonal changes of the breast.

Additional imaging may be recommended, including diagnostic mammography or medical diagnostic imaging, such as ultrasound. These radiology images help to further characterize an area on the screening mammogram to distinguish benign (noncancerous) findings from malignancy (cancer).

If you are called back for added imaging, you will be able to discuss your results with the radiologist. If there is still a question after the diagnostic breast imaging, the radiologist may recommend a minimally invasive breast biopsy. All of our minimally-invasive breast biopsies are performed in our Centers for your comfort and convenience. If a biopsy is indicated, then results will be available within two working days.

What if the Breast Biopsy Is Abnormal?

Your Care Team ensures the continuity of care from screening to diagnosis to treatment. If treatment for an atypical, precancerous, or cancer result is needed, we can perform any additional pretreatment imaging, such as MRI or needle localization, at The Women’s Imaging Center.

Our Care Team and navigator will coordinate your care with other specialists, including the radiologist, surgeon, or other specialists based on the recommendation of your referring clinician or within the continuity of care following the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines or the American Cancer Society (ACS) recommendations.

What if I need an emergency mammogram screening?

If you are in need of an emergency mammogram, do not hesitate to contact us as soon as possible so we can get you into one of our many locations in the Denver area.

Insurance Options We Honor

At the Women's Imaging Center, we accept most major insurance providers and provide affordable self-pay options. If you have any questions about whether we accept your insurance, please contact us at 303-321-2273.