Screening vs. Diagnostic Mammogram

Screening mammograms help ensure your long-term breast health, along with monthly breast self-exams and an annual clinical breast exam from your doctor. A screening mammogram takes X-ray pictures of the inside of your breasts to check for signs of breast cancer when you don’t have symptoms.

If you notice symptoms of a breast problem, such as a lump, pain or other breast change, your doctor may order a diagnostic mammogram. A more detailed diagnostic mammogram helps your doctor diagnose breast symptoms or follow up on an abnormal screening.

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3D Mammography Advantages

You’ll benefit from the 3D mammography (low-dose, digital X-ray) available at AnMed. 3D mammography takes multiple images of your breast tissue at different angles. The images show thin sections of your breast tissue, allowing one of our onsite, board-certified radiologists to evaluate the tissue layer by layer. 

3D Mammography vs 2D Mammography

Compared to standard 2D mammography, 3D mammography offers: 

  • More detailed images that are harder to see on a traditional mammogram
  • Better detection if you have dense breasts (tissue with less fat)
  • Greater accuracy at finding more invasive breast cancers
  • Fewer callbacks for more testing

Do I Need a 3D Mammogram?

Advanced 3D mammography isn’t available everywhere, but AnMed offers this technology. When you schedule your mammogram at AnMed, ask for 3D mammography, especially if you:

  • Have dense breast tissue (more fibrous and glandular tissue)
  • Have a family history of breast cancer
  • Are in a high-risk category

When Do I Need a Mammogram?

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends women at average risk of breast cancer get screened every other year starting at age 40. Talk to your doctor about the right time to begin screening mammograms.

If you did genetic testing that shows you’re at higher-than-average risk for breast cancer, talk to your doctor about when to start evaluations. If you notice anything unusual with your breasts, like a lump or swelling, see your doctor right away.

Schedule Your Mammogram

You don’t need a doctor’s referral for a routine annual screening. Same-day and next-day appointments are available. 

Schedule your mammogram online at at one of these AnMed breast imaging locations: Anderson or Pickens.

Or call 864-512-5400 (Anderson) or 864-898-1153 (Pickens) to make an appointment.

Mobile Mammograms

Our imaging centers in Anderson and Pickens and mobile mammography bus make it easy to get a mammogram when and where you need it. See our mobile mammography bus events to determine when it will be close to you.

High-Quality Care Standards for You

American College of Radiology seal

Feel confident you’ve come to the right place for your mammogram when you choose AnMed. We hold the following accreditations from the American College of Surgeons (ACS) National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers and the American College of Radiology (ACR):

  • Mammography – AnMed Women’s Diagnostics (Anderson) and AnMed Cannon Breast Imaging (Pickens)
  • Breast MRI – AnMed Women’s Diagnostics (Anderson)

These accreditations mean you can trust us to ensure your safety and provide top-quality images. We meet ACR’s high standards because we care about your well-being and satisfaction.

Mammograms: What to Expect

How Do I Prepare for a Mammogram?

There’s no need to feel anxious or afraid of a mammogram. If you have concerns about the test process or the results, talk to your doctor or mammography technologist. They can educate you about the screening and ease your fears.

Skip applying deodorant, powder, perfume or lotion on the day of your appointment because they can affect your results. Wear a two-piece outfit, so it’s easy to change into a mammography blouse while leaving your bottoms on.

What Should I Expect During a Mammogram?

Registration and the exam usually only take about 15 minutes. The waiting areas are spa-like and provide a relaxing environment. Before your test, you’ll change your top in a private dressing room and wear a mammogram blouse.

During the mammogram, you’ll stand in front of a machine and your mammogram technologist will put your breast on a medical plate. A plastic upper plate drops down to compress your breast from top to bottom for a few seconds while your technologist takes an X-ray. Then, you’ll change positions so your breast is compressed from side to side before taking the next X-ray.

Does a Mammogram Hurt?

You’ll feel pressure during a mammogram, which might cause discomfort for a few seconds while compressing your breast tissue against the testing equipment. Compressing your breast helps spread out breast tissue, making it easier to get good images. Our technologists will do everything they can to keep you comfortable. Tell your technologist if you’re in pain so they can adjust the compression levels.

What Happens After a Screening Mammogram?

If your mammogram shows something unusual, a radiologist will want to learn more. The doctor may order more images, breast ultrasound, breast MRI or a biopsy—a procedure that harvests a tiny sample of cells for examination in a lab. Rest assured, most unusual tissue is harmless. But if you receive a breast cancer diagnosis, you’ll have the support of a team of caring experts at AnMed.

When Will I Get My Results?

Screening mammogram results are usually available in a couple of days in your MyChart account.

You’ll get diagnostic mammogram results at your appointment and the same day in your MyChart account.

How Much Does a Mammogram Cost?

Most insurance companies cover mammograms, but you can get a 50 percent discount if paying out-of-pocket. You may be eligible for low or no-cost screenings if you don’t have insurance. To learn whether you qualify for assistance, contact the breast health navigator at 864-512-4091.

Requests For Exam Records

If a healthcare provider outside of AnMed asks for copies of your mammogram images, you must complete a medical records release form [PDF]. It gives us permission to send the images to another facility. You can mail, email or fax the completed form to 864-512-6587.