Conventional & 3D Mammogram Screenings
At Bassett Healthcare Network, our cancer specialists recommend that women get their first mammogram at age 40. This creates a “baseline” for comparison with future exams even if you never feel a lump or experience other symptoms. After your first mammogram, we recommend receiving breast cancer screenings annually.
The Bassett Cancer Institute offers the following mammogram guidelines:
- If you have a first-degree relative who has been diagnosed with breast cancer (mother, father, sister, brother, daughter, or son) you should start your screenings 10 years prior to the age when they were diagnosed (with the exception of daughter/son diagnoses). For example, if your mother was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 42, you should start screening at age 32. If your son or daughter is diagnosed with breast cancer, contact your primary care practitioner to schedule a screening.
- If you test positive for BRACA 1, you should start receiving mammograms at age 30.
- If you are breastfeeding, you should stop for 3-6 months prior to getting a mammogram.
- 3D mammograms are especially useful in screening women with dense breast tissue.
While traditional (2D) mammograms produce a flat X-ray image of your breast tissue, tomosynthesis (3D mammograms) show the tissue in more detailed one-millimeter layers. This allows the images to be evaluated digitally and more efficiently. In addition, 3D mammograms reduce the rate of “false positive” results by 40 percent.
Before Your Breast Cancer Screening Appointment
Prior to your scheduled exam, you’ll receive detailed directions. Here are some tips to help you prepare for your mammogram:
- If you’ve ever had a mammogram in the past, either at Bassett Healthcare Network or elsewhere, make sure your images and results are sent to the medical records department. This is needed for comparison with your current exam and can often be obtained on a CD.
- Don’t use any deodorant, lotion, talcum powder, or perfume under your arms. These can interfere with the image capturing or appear on the mammogram as calcium spots.
- Describe any breast symptoms or problems to the technologist performing the exam.
- If you’re still having periods, schedule your mammogram for at least a week after your period ends, so your breasts won’t be tender. If you have sensitive breasts, take an analgesic (whatever you take for a headache) before the exam.
- Inform the technologist if you have breast implants, as you may have to undergo a procedure that takes additional time.
- Wear a shirt and pants or skirt, rather than a dress, so you can be partially clothed during the exam.
- Most importantly, examine your own breasts at least once a month so you’re always aware of how they normally look and feel.
What to Expect During a Mammogram
Before the exam, a member of our team will ask you to remove your clothes above the waist. To properly examine your breast, a technician will position one of your breasts on a plate, while another plate compresses your breast. The imaging machine will then use low-dose radiation to capture images of your breast. This process is then repeated for your other breast.
Bassett Medical Center mammography hours:
Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday: 7:30 am – 5:00 pm
Wednesday and Friday: 7:00 am – 5:00 pm
Cobleskill Regional Hospital mammography hours:
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday: 7:30 am – 4:00 pm
Tuesday and Thursday: 7:00 am – 4:00 pm
Little Falls Hospital mammography hours:
Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday: 8:00 am – 2:30 pm
Friday: 7:00 am – 2:30 pm
Saturday: 8:00 am - noon
A.O. Fox Hospital mammography hours:
Monday and Friday: 7:00 am – 3:00 pm
Tuesday – Thursday: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Bassett Cancer Institute at FoxCare mammography hours:
Monday – Tuesday: 7:00 am – 3:30 pm
Wednesday – Friday: 8:00 am – 3:30 pm
Bassett Herkimer Specialty Services mammography hours:
Monday: 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Tuesday – Wednesday: 7:00 am – 4:30 pm
Thursday – Friday: 7:30 am – 4:30 pm
Our experienced breast cancer screening team also provides care throughout Central New York to underinsured and uninsured men and women through the Cancer Services Program.
Schedule a Mammogram Screening
If you would like to receive a mammogram at Bassett Healthcare Network, please call (607) 547-3600 to schedule an appointment, or request a referral with your primary care practitioner. If you already have an order, you can also do self-scheduling through MyBassett Health Connection. If you are uninsured or underinsured, contact the Cancer Services Program to find out if you may be eligible for free breast cancer screening.
Bassett Healthcare Network provides convenient access to mammograms in Oneonta, Little Falls, Herkimer, Delhi, Cooperstown, and Cobleskill, and across Central New York through our mobile screening coach.