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What Is A Mammogram And How Does It Work?

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What Is A Mammogram And How Does It Work?

During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, CCH wants to provide information on what a mammogram is, the types of mammograms, and how to get one.

A mammogram is a detailed x-ray image of your breast tissue. When you have a mammogram, the technologist aligns your breast between two plates to compress the tissue and the machine takes an image. Images are taken from several different angles to see as much breast tissue as possible. Breast compression can be uncomfortable, but the whole process only takes a few minutes.

Here at CCH, both 2 D and 3D mammography imaging is available. 3D mammography (digital breast Tomosynthesis) is the latest FDA-approved advancement to find breast cancer early, when it is most treatable. 3D mammography allows your radiologist to see your breast tissue details more clearly and may uncover breast cancer that would otherwise be hidden by overlying breast tissue.3D imaging creates a 3-dimensional structure of the breast tissue. Dense breast tissue can cause shadows because of overlapping tissue, which may conceal tumors from conventional 2D mammography.

CCH suggests using 3D mammography for your first exam, and once your breast density has been determined, you and your physician should discuss future options between standard 2D and 3D mammography.

Now let’s talk about the different types of Mammograms. There are two types-called screening and diagnostic. A screening mammogram is recommended annually for women over 40. A diagnostic mammogram is for anyone at any age that is experiencing symptoms, including lumps, masses, change in size, pain, or rash. You need to see your primary care provider for a referral to get a diagnostic mammogram. Screening mammograms do not require a referral unless you are under the age of 40.

Mammograms are important to detect breast cancer as early as possible. The earlier a mass is detected, the higher percentage you have of the treatment being successful. To help women get more access to get a mammogram this October, we are offering mammograms every Saturday in October from 8 am - 1 pm in the Radiology Department at CCH.

We all know that mammograms can be stress inducing, but knowing something is wrong is the first step toward effective treatment. In many breast cancer patients, symptoms do not show up until later stages of the disease, or they do not show at all. That is why the most effective way to keep your breasts healthy is to get a mammogram.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact the radiology department at CCH at 307-688-1600.


“Campbell County Health | Healthcare System in Gillette, Wyoming.” Campbell County Health, Accessed 8 Sept. 2022.


---. “CDC - What Is a Mammogram? - Breast Cancer.” CDC, 2019,

“Mammogram 101: Q&a with a Mammographer.”,
  • Category: Radiology