Understanding Your Mammogram Report
When will I receive my results?
You can wait for your results Monday – Friday from 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. If you wait for your results and additional imaging is required, it can be done immediately. Same day results are not available for 3D mammograms.
Why is the report sent to me?
Federal regulations require that written mammography reports be sent to the patient by the interpreting physician within 30 days of the mammogram. A report of your mammogram will also be sent to your physician.
If my mammogram was normal, do I still need to have mammograms done in the future?
Yes, in order to maintain good breast health, it is essential to continue having routine mammograms at least once each year.
What if my mammogram was not normal?
Don't panic! Your report may say that your mammogram showed an area of irregularity. Your report will tell you what your next step should be.
Is there any chance I may need other types of testing after my mammogram?
A small percentage of women will receive a report saying that the mammogram showed an abnormality and that additional testing is needed to clarify the findings. The additional tests may be a more detailed (diagnostic) mammogram, an ultrasound, or MRI of the breast. In most cases, follow-up testing proves there is nothing to be concerned about. However, if follow-up testing is recommended, it is important to contact your physician immediately to set up your additional tests.
Other Diagnostic Services
A breast ultrasound, or sonogram, is a test that uses sound waves to examine the breasts. Your doctor may order an breast ultrasound if you have a breast lump found during a breast exam or an abnormal mammogram. This test can help tell the difference between a solid mass or a cyst and look for a growth if you have clear or bloody fluid coming from your nipple.
Breast Needle Biopsy
A needle biopsy of the breast is a procedure in which tissue is removed from suspicious areas and analyzed by a physician to determine whether or not cancer is present. A needle biopsy is performed under local anesthesia. Simple aspirations are performed with a small gauge needle to attempt to draw fluid from lumps that are thought to be cysts. A core needle biopsy uses a larger needle to make passes through a lump to draw out tissue. Withdrawn tissue is further evaluated.
A breast MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan is an imaging test that uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create pictures of the breast and surrounding tissue. It produces highly detailed images of the breast tissue and is frequently used to determine whether or not an area of concern is cancerous, thereby avoiding unnecessary biopsies. It does not use radiation (x-rays). A breast MRI may be done in combination with mammography or ultrasound. However, it is not a replacement for mammography.