Also known as: Breast Screening

One woman in eight will get breast cancer in her lifetime. The statistics are hard to ignore. And one in three women over the age of 40 will be diagnosed with a breast health concern.

Mammograms use low energy X-rays to examine the breast as a diagnostic and screening tool to detect the early presence of breast cancer. Mammograms are recommended annually for women age 45 to 54. Women 55 and older can switch to mammograms every 2 years, or continue yearly screening.

Screening and diagnosis

  • Digital mammography
  • Breast ultrasound
  • Clinical breast exam
  • Ultrasound and stereotactic guided core biopsy
  • Needle localization

Professional and support services

  • Nurse liaison
  • Referrals for second opinions, genetic counseling and further testing 
  • Resource library
  • Patient and family education for newly diagnosed women
  • Peer survivor program
  • Breast cancer support groups


  • Risk assessment
  • Breast pain evaluation
  • Breast self-exam instruction
  • Counseling and education

What is 3D mammography?

Some Providence locations offer 3-D mammography. Also called tomosynthesis, the machine moves around the breast, taking laser-sharp images in thin slices. The radiologist can then view the entire breast in 3-D, moving through each slice to find cancers that may have been obscured in traditional mammograms.

Procedure preparation

Before scheduling a mammogram, it is highly recommended that you speak with your doctor about any recent problems or abnormalities concerning your breasts. If possible, collect prior mammograms and make them available for your radiologist at the time of the current exam. 

Doctor referrals are not required for mammograms, and women do not need to be patients at Providence, or use a Providence doctor in order to have a 3-D mammogram.

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