Mammography is used to aid in the detection and diagnosis of a number of breast conditions, including breast cancer and breast disease.

St. Clair Hospital's Breast Care Center uses the most advanced imaging equipment including digital 3D breast tomosynthesis (3D mammography) for this procedure. A mammography can detect changes up to two years before either a physician or patient can feel them – which can lead to early detection and a higher cure rate – mammography is especially effective at detecting some (but not all) breast cancers. For this reason, the American Cancer Society advocates annual mammograms for women over the age of 40. 

Scheduling a Mammogram

To schedule a mammogram, contact the St. Clair Hospital Breast Care Center at 412.942.3177

St. Clair Hospital Breast Care Center mammography locations:

  • St. Clair Hospital Outpatient Center - Village Square, 2000 Oxford Drive, Suite 301,Bethel Park, PA 15102  
  • St. Clair Hospital Outpatient Center - Peters Townnship, 3928 Washington Road, Suite 100, McMurray, PA 15317 

How Do I Prepare for a Mammogram?

Once you have scheduled your mammogram, St. Clair Hospital asks that you follow these guidelines to prepare for your procedure:

One day before the procedure…

  • Call 412.942.6157 to schedule transportation to St. Clair Hospital or the St. Clair Hospital Outpatient Center via the courtesy van, if needed.
  • If a previous mammogram was done at a facility other than St. Clair Hospital or St. Clair Hospital Outpatient Center, request those images be sent to St. Clair to avoid any delay in interpretation.

The day of the procedure…

  • Refrain from wearing perfume, talcum powder or deodorant the day of your mammogram, as these products can interfere with the quality of the imaging.
  • Bring your mammography prescription from your doctor to your mammogram appointment, as well as your health insurance card.
  • You should plan to remain in the Mammography Department for approximately one hour.

What Will Happen During the Mammogram?

  • Your breast will be positioned in the mammography unit and placed on a platform for compression.
  • Your breast will be gradually compressed so that all breast tissue can be seen and examined, and small abnormalities are not obscured.
  • It is important to remain still and hold your breath during the mammogram, so that the image is not blurred.
  • The compression of your breast may be uncomfortable, especially for women who have very sensitive breasts, but compression aids in diagnosis.
  • All mammograms at St. Clair Hospital are performed by technologists who are certified by the American Academy of Radiology Technologists and who have additional certification in mammography. Images are scanned using a computer aided detection (CAD) system. CAD acts as a radiologist’s “second look,” ensuring that only the highest quality imaging technology and interpretation services are utilized.
  • Allow one hour for your mammogram appointment.

What Will Happen After the Mammogram?

St. Clair Hospital’s staff of board-certified radiologists will review and interpret your mammography images. Once your mammogram is completed you may resume your normal activities unless otherwise directed by your physician. If you have any additional questions, please contact the St. Clair Hospital Mammography Center at 412.942.3177.

Receiving Your Test Results

As soon as your mammogram is reviewed by the radiologist, you and your physician will be notified by letter of the results of your exam. If the radiologist has identified an area of concern, St. Clair Hospital’s Mammography Department will contact you directly and ask that you return to the Hospital for additional testing, if needed.

About 3-D Mammography

3D mammography converts digital breast images into a stack of very thin layers or "slices" - building what is essentially a 3-dimensional mammogram. The 3-D images allow doctors to examine breast tissue one layer at a time. Very low X-ray energy is used during the screening examination - which takes about 10 seconds to acquire - so a patient’s radiation exposure is safely below the American College of Radiology (ACR) guidelines.

With 3-D images, St. Clair Hospital diagnostic radiologists can see tissue detail in a way never before possible. Instead of viewing all of the complexities of a woman’s breast tissue in a flat 2-D image, a radiologist can examine the tissue a millimeter at a time. Fine details are more clearly visible, no longer hidden by the tissue above and below. When used together, 3-D breast tomosynthesis and digital mammography have been proven to reduce "call-backs," scenarios in which patients are asked to return for follow-up examinations to rule out any suspicious areas. The use of 3-D tomosynthesis has proven particularly beneficial in woman with dense breast tissue and has reduced the number of unnecessary invasive diagnostic procedures.

 

St. Clair Hospital’s Mammography Department is certified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Mammography Quality Standards Act.

Mayo Clinic Health Information

Learn more about mammography from our Mayo Clinic Health Information section.

Learn More