Breast Cancer Screenings

Screening for breast cancer is done with a mammogram, which is a special type of X-ray of the breast tissue.  The recommendation for when to start screening with regular mammograms is based on a woman’s age, risk factors, and personal preference.

Why Screen?

 Discuss with your primary care doctor or OB/GYN whether an annual mammogram is right for you.

Questions to ask your doctor about screening:

Further evaluation of potential breast cancer can be done with follow-up tests.  Ultrasound may be used to better evaluate an abnormality.  A biopsy may be done to test the tissue for cancer cells.

Tests for Breast Cancer

There are different diagnostic tools for diagnosing and evaluating breast cancer:

  • Mammograms are the standard care for early breast cancer detection. They are the best tool for finding breast cancer early. Early breast cancer detection is key to breast cancer treatment.
  • Digital Breast Tomography or 3D Mammography
  • Breast Ultrasound is often used as a follow-up test after an abnormal mammogram or when a lump has been found.
  • Breast Biopsy is a test that takes samples of tissue and studies them for cancer cells. Biopsies provide a definite diagnosis. Breast biopsies are done as recommended by a breast radiologist as a follow-up to abnormal imaging.
For additional information about support or assistance for screenings, visit Access to Care or the Maine CDC Breast and Cervical Health Program. If you have questions about the Maine.gov program, you may call 1-800-350-5180.