Findings on a Mammogram and Mammogram Results

This article will review the purpose, risks, and limitations of X-rays for breast cancer staging, as well as what you can expect before, during, and after such testing.

The technician will give you instructions about how to position your body. You may be draped with special aprons that block radiation from parts of your body that aren’t being looked at.

If your healthcare provider is concerned that you may have a tumor or metastases in your lungs, a better test is a chest computed tomography (CT) scan.

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The mammograms below show a range of breast density. Some breasts are mostly fat (fatty breasts), and some breasts are mostly breast tissue (dense breasts).

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Breast Cancer Healthcare Provider Discussion Guide

If you have any concerns about your breast density or your risk of breast cancer, talk with your health care provider.

A radiologist and your healthcare provider will look at the X-rays, and your healthcare provider should contact you with the results. If you’re nervous about the results, be sure to ask how long you should expect to wait so you’re mentally prepared.

Findings on a Mammogram and Mammogram Results

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Some healthcare providers’ offices have X-ray machines on site. Others will send you to a hospital or other medical facility to have the X-ray done.

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Location

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Some centers give you the results of your mammogram at the time of your screening. With others, it may take up to 2 weeks to get your results.

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Image | Radiopaedia.org

You’ll probably have to undress from the waist up and wear a hospital gown, so wear a top that’s easy to remove. Don’t wear a necklace.

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What to Wear

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The tumor cells that began in the milk duct don’t stay within the clear borders of the duct. Instead, they invade the nearby breast tissue. The outer edges of these cells look fuzzy or spiky (called spiculated).

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Mammogram images: Normal, abnormal, and breast cancer

A chest X-ray typically takes less than 15 minutes. If you have a scheduled time, be sure to arrive a little early to check in. If you’re dropping in, it’s a good idea to call ahead to see how long the wait is. Certain times of day, such as first thing in the morning, might be less busy than others.

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Adapted from American College of Radiology’s BI-RADS ® – Mammography, Fifth Edition, 2013 and American Cancer Society materials [32-33] with permission of the American College of Radiology.

Invasive breast cancer can look like a white patch or mass on a mammogram.

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