Forms & Information

Ask An Expert

Ask an Expert: Should I request a thyroid guard during a mammogram?

A recent chain email, forwarded by a friend, has me concerned. The email focuses on a recent episode of “The Dr. Oz Show,” in which Dr. Mehmet Oz suggested that radiation from mammograms and dental X-rays could be partly responsible for increasing rates of thyroid cancer. According to the email, thyroid guards are available to protect patients during dental and breast imaging, but are not routinely used. My questions: How serious are these thyroid risks? Should I insist on using a thyroid guard when I have dental X-rays and mammograms?

Ask an Expert: When is nipple discharge a concern?

Q: “I am concerned about some discharge from one of my breasts. If I squeeze the nipple, I get a dark greenish fluid. Sometimes it also occurs spontaneously. I mentioned this during my last physical exam, but my mammogram appeared to be OK. Should I do anything else, or just wait for my next mammogram? If it’s nothing to be concerned about, what is causing it?”

Forms Instructions

New Guidelines for Mammography Screening

Breast health experts at Providence Health & Services recognize the importance and complexity of counseling women on breast health and screening recommendations. In November 2009, the US Preventive Services Task Force issued updated guidelines for breast cancer screening. These new recommendations have been met with uneven acceptance from various foundations, professional organizations and breast health providers.

We have reviewed these new recommendations carefully and have engaged a number of concerned providers, physicians and women’s health advocates in order to gain consensus around this important issue. In general, Providence endorses the thorough, professional and evidence-based effort put forth by the USPSTF and recognizes these are difficult issues to analyze.

Request a Mammogram Appointment

Following the American Cancer Society guidelines, women are advised to have a screening mammogram every year after their 40th birthday. Most health insurance plans cover mammography expenses. Financial counseling is available for those without insurance.

Proprietary Health Article

Don’t miss out on your ounce of prevention

If you go to the doctor only when you're sick, you'll miss some powerful opportunities to stay well.

Mammography FAQ

Answers to frequently asked questions about the mammogram procedure.

Recommended Resource

American Cancer Society

American Cancer Society’s home page with links to all types of cancer, symptoms, treatment options, statistics trials and ways to contribute. 

American Cancer Society Guidelines for Breast Screening with MRI as an Adjunct to Mammography

New evidence on breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) screening has become available since the American Cancer Society (ACS) last issued guidelines for the early detection of breast cancer in 2003. A guideline panel has reviewed this evidence and developed new recommendations for women at different defined levels of risk.