Advanced screening and diagnostic mammograms

Advanced Screening for Early Detection

At Anna Jaques Hospital, you can get 2D or 3D mammography. 3D is the latest and most advanced technology in breast cancer screening and detection. It provides clinicians with a level of clarity proven to improve accuracy and reduce the number of biopsies and times you’d have to return for further study.

Regular breast self-exams are important for the early detection of breast cancer. However, they shouldn’t take the place of routine mammograms and clinical breast exams. Be sure to tell your doctor if you notice any change in how your breasts look or feel.

Preparing for Your Mammogram

Our team performs about 14,000 mammograms each year. That means you’re in good hands with our experienced team.

Knowing what to expect can help ease any stress you might feel about your breast cancer screening.

Before Your Appointment

Let us know if you have excessive breast tenderness or if you are, or may be, pregnant.

On the Day of Your Appointment

  • Do not apply anything to the skin on or around your breasts. This includes antiperspirant or deodorant, perfume and body lotion. These substances can show up on the mammogram and make it difficult to interpret the results.
  • Bring your current insurance information with you. Be prepared to fill out a medical history form, including family history of cancer and personal history of cancer screening and treatment if relevant.
  • Allow 45 minutes for your appointment.

Breast Density Assessments

A radiologist will review your mammogram — a type of X-ray — to see if you have “dense breasts.” This means you show more glandular than fatty tissue on your mammogram. Dense breast tissue is a normal finding — half of our patients have dense breasts. Your mammography report will include information about your breast density.

Dense breast tissue can make it harder to find cancer on a mammogram. It may also increase your risk of cancer. That’s why it’s important for you to know if you have dense breasts. Talk to your doctor about your own risks for breast cancer, including your family history. Ask your doctor if more screening tests may be useful, based on your risk.

If your mammogram shows an abnormal result, your doctor may recommend other tests for further study. While a mammogram alone cannot detect cancer, if you are later diagnosed, you can expect comprehensive and compassionate breast cancer care at our Gerrish Breast Health Center.

Learn More About 3D Mammography

Read about 3D mammography and the benefits of this advanced imaging technique. 
What is 3D mammography, and how does it work?

3D mammography is a screening and diagnostic breast-imaging tool that is proven to improve the early detection of breast cancer by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 3D mammography is also known as tomosynthesis, or “tomo” for short.

For each view, the mammography machine sweeps over the breast, taking multiple images in seconds. A computer formats the images and displays them as a series of thin, 3D slices, as well as a composite digital image (two-dimensional) for the radiologist to interpret.

What are the benefits of 3D mammography?

3D mammogram provides high accuracy and image clarity. It also supports earlier detection and reduces the need for additional testing compared to traditional 2D mammography.

The technology takes up to 180 3D pictures of a breast in about the same time 2D imaging takes four pictures. The results allow a radiologist to view breast tissue one thin slice at a time. Fine details in the breast are more visible and less likely to be hidden by overlapping tissue. This results in higher accuracy and less need for further testing.

How is 3D mammography different than 2D

Several large studies have shown that 3D mammography detects 41% more invasive breast cancers. That’s one-to-two more cancers caught per 1,000 tests. 3D mammography also reduces the chances that a patient will need additional views by up to 15%. With 3D mammography, radiologists can detect breast cancer earlier with fewer false alarms and fewer biopsies.

What can I expect during a 3D mammogram?

A 3D mammogram is similar to a traditional 2D mammogram. It only takes a few more seconds than a 2D mammogram and does not require additional breast compression. Some women may experience minor discomfort; others don’t experience any discomfort.

Does 3D mammography use more radiation?

Our 3D mammography sites use the lowest dose of radiation available. It uses roughly the same amount as traditional 2D mammography.

Should I continue to be screened as often with 3D mammography?

Continue to follow your existing screening plan unless there is a change in your health. You may need to re-evaluate your screening plans if there are any changes or new knowledge of your family medical history. A risk assessment is an extremely valuable tool for determining your custom plan. It considers your personal and family health history. Discuss with your care team to evaluate and adjust your plan as necessary.

Do I need a referral for a 3D mammogram?

You don’t need a referral for a 3D mammogram. We offer them to all patients as routine screening or diagnostic mammograms.

How soon will I get my results?

Mammography results are usually available within two business days of your appointment. You also can view your test results in our Patient Portal.  

Schedule a Mammogram

Types of Breast Conditions We Treat

At Anna Jaques, you have access to treatments for a wide range of breast conditions.
  • Benign (non-cancerous) breast tumors
  • Breast abnormalities
  • Breast calcifications
  • Breast cancer
  • Breast discharge
  • Breast infections, including mastitis
  • Cysts
  • Duct ectasia
  • Family history of breast or ovarian cancer
  • Fat necrosis
  • Fibroadenomas
  • Fibrocystic changes

Schedule a Mammogram

Please call our team to schedule your next mammogram.

Related Locations

Amesbury Health Center/Occupational Health Services Address Icon 24 Morrill Place
Amesbury, MA 01913
Phone Icon 978-834-8190
Pentucket Medical Associates – Newburyport Address Icon 260 Merrimac Street
Newburyport, MA 01950
Phone Icon 978-499-7200