A mammogram is an X-ray examination of the breast, most often used to look for early signs of breast cancer. Regular mammograms are the best tests doctors have to find breast cancer early — sometimes up to three years before a lump can be felt. It is recommended that women 40 and older or who have a family history of breast cancer get a routine mammogram every year. Women ages 35 to 39 are also eligible for one baseline mammogram screening, which is covered by most insurance.
Requesting a Mammogram Appointment
Are you at risk for breast cancer? Are you eligible for an annual mammography screening? If so, please fill out this form to request an appointment or call 978-287-8107
What to Expect When You Get a Mammogram
In this Health Works Here podcast, hear from Emerson technologists as they share insight and tips on what to expect when you get a mammogram.
Mammograms at Emerson's Hermel Breast Centers
Emerson Health uses the latest digital 3D mammography (called tomosynthesis) to better screen patients with dense breast tissue. This technology produces images that are higher in quality and lower in radiation dose — and reduces the need for repeat exams by up to 40 percent because it is so accurate. In addition, our board-certified radiologists use computer-aided detection to help find even the smallest abnormality and deliver the most accurate diagnosis possible.
Emerson's mammography services are available at the Hermel Breast Health Center Concord and the Hermel Breast Health Center Westford. Notably, our centers are designated a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the Commission on Quality and Safety, and the Commission on Breast Imaging of the American College of Radiology — ensuring that we have met comprehensive national standards for quality. Learn more about Emerson’s comprehensive breast health services.
National Accreditation Program for Breast Center
The National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), a quality program administered by the American College of Surgeons (ACS), has granted accredited status to Emerson's Hermel Breast Health Center. To achieve voluntary NAPBC accreditation, a breast center demonstrates compliance with the NAPBC standards that address a center’s leadership, clinical services, research, community outreach, professional education, and quality improvement for patients. Breast centers seeking NAPBC accreditation undergo a site visit every three years.
What a Mammogram Involves
When you arrive for your appointment, you will be given a gown and asked to remove neck jewelry and clothing from the waist up. Wearing a two-piece outfit makes this easier. A technologist will bring you into a private exam room where you will stand at the mammography machine. The technologist will position your breasts for the mammogram. You and the technologist are the only ones in the room during the mammogram.
To obtain a high-quality image, your breast must be flattened. To do this, the technologist places your breast on the machine’s clear acrylic lower plate. The upper plate is lowered to compress your breast for a few seconds while the technologist takes a picture. The entire procedure takes less than 30 minutes. The actual breast compression lasts only a few seconds.
Two views of each breast are taken for a screening mammogram. For some women with large breasts or breast implants, more images may be needed. After your mammogram, you may dress and resume your normal activities.
Insurance coverage for mammograms
Screening mammography is covered by insurance. If you are scheduled for a follow-up or call-back exam — which are considered diagnostic procedures — you should contact your insurance plan to determine your coverage (if there is a deductible or co-pay, for example).
Questions about mammography?
If you have any questions or concerns about mammography, we encourage you to contact us. Our experienced team will address your concerns candidly, respectfully and attentively. You can also learn more about mammograms on the American Cancer Society
To obtain your mammogram results
Federal law requires mammogram facilities to send your results to you within 30 days, but you can usually expect to receive your results from us sooner.
If you need additional information, please call:
To obtain test results
By law, this requires a signed medical records release form and photo identification. If you need additional information, please call:
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