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School of Medicine
Breast Cancer Screening
The Johns Hopkins Breast Center provides mammogram screening services for the early detection of breast cancer and other breast abnormalities. We use digital mammography, which provides a clearer and more accurate image of the breast and aids in the accurate diagnosis of early stage breast cancers. Additionally, Johns Hopkins imaging offers 3D mammography, or tomosynthesis, a revolutionary screening and diagnostic tool designed for early detection of breast cancer that can be done in conjunction with a traditional 2D digital mammogram.
After your screening, which will take place at the Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center, a radiologist will read your mammogram and prepare a report. A letter will arrive within 7-10 days that describes the breast imaging radiologist's findings. You will be contacted if there are any concerns raised by the radiologist about the imaging.
Screening Mammograms vs. Diagnostic Mammograms
It is important that women understand the difference between a screening mammogram and a diagnostic mammogram.
- Screening mammograms – Annual screening mammograms are recommended for women who are 40 years or older, or for younger women with specific risk factors for breast cancer. You don’t have to have any signs or symptoms of a breast abnormality in order to receive a screening; they are used for the early detection of breast cancer and other breast health issues. Eighty percent of tumors found during a mammogram are benign. Screenings are also recommended for a period of time as follow-up care after breast cancer treatment.
- Diagnostic mammograms – You will be referred for this type of mammogram if you have an abnormality on your screening mammogram or if you have a breast mass or other breast change (found during a breast self-exam or by your physician). Diagnostic imaging may include mammograms with extra compression or magnification, mammograms shot from different angles, or breast ultrasound.
Additional Imaging after a Screening Mammogram
Nationally, approximately five to 15 percent of women having a screening mammogram will be called back for additional imaging. For some institutions, the rate is higher. Women should not panic when this happens; the findings of additional imaging are usually benign.