Mammography – Breast Cancer Screening

Every woman is at risk for breast cancer. One in eight will develop the disease, and 85% of those who are diagnosed have no family history of breast cancer. Providence encourages every woman to talk to her doctor, beginning at age 40, about when to start breast cancer screening through regular mammograms.

Screening Mammogram

This routine screening tool takes low-energy X-ray images of the breasts to look for early signs of cancer in women who aren’t having any symptoms. The goal of this procedure is to detect cancer as early as possible.

More Information and Resources

The benefits of early detection

Early detection is the best defense against breast cancer. When breast cancer is found early, before it has spread beyond the breast, the five-year survival rate is nearly 100%.

Regular screening can help detect breast cancer before you might notice any symptoms. Providence offers these lifesaving screenings in multiple locations throughout Oregon. Using advanced imaging and diagnostic technologies, Providence’s dedicated breast radiologists are able to discover small cancers in their earliest, most treatable stages. At all screening visits, emphasis is on safety, comfort, and privacy.

If you are interested in scheduling a screening mammogram, please complete this form. A representative will contact you within 2 business days to collect additional information and arrange your appointment. Most health insurance plans cover mammography expenses.

Screening mammograms/Procedure preparation

For women who aren’t having any breast cancer symptoms, we offer a screening mammogram, an X-ray test of the breasts (mammary glands) used to screen for breast problems, such as a lump, and whether a lump is fluid-filled (a cyst) or a solid mass.

The goal of this procedure is early detection. Due to the increase in women getting screening mammograms, more and more breast cancers are being caught at the earliest, most treatable stages. If you’re scheduled for a screening mammogram but develop a symptom, please let the technologist know before the start of your exam.

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.

We are happy to send a copy of your mammogram to your referring doctor or primary care provider.

Screening recommendations/Services

We understand there are many different screening recommendations. This can be confusing. If you are at average risk for breast cancer, talk with your health care provider to determine what‘s best for you.

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
  • 3D Mammography and MRI

    Some Providence locations offer 3-D mammography, also known as tomosynthesis, detects 41% more invasive breast cancers and reduces false positives (false alarms) by up to 40%.

    With tomosynthesis, an X-ray beam sweeps through the breast in a slight arc and takes pictures of multiple “slices” of breast tissues. A radiologist then looks through the series of images. Digital tomosynthesis allows the detection of small abnormalities that may be hidden by normal breast tissue. It also allows the radiologist to tell the difference between a clump of normal tissue and a true mass.

    Providence Diagnostic Imaging

    Providence Diagnostic Imaging provides high-quality medical imaging services by ensuring the highest standard of patient care and excellence in performance, interpretation and delivery of cost-effective imaging services.

    What to know about the COVID-19 vaccine and your mammogram

    Getting vaccinated for COVID-19 is an important way to protect yourself from potentially serious effects of the coronavirus. The COVID-19 vaccine, like other vaccinations, can cause a temporary enlargement of lymph nodes. This can cause your mammogram to appear abnormal even when there is no indication of cancer.

    It is important to not delay your mammogram screening. When you call to schedule your mammogram, be sure to mention if you have received a COVID-19 vaccine or have an appointment to get one.