A mammogram is a valuable tool because it can detect breast cancer at an early stage, often before physical symptoms develop. A mammogram is a low-dose x-ray of the breast. While this test is adept at detecting cancer, about 80 percent of breast abnormalities are benign. These include calcifications, cysts and other masses.

Call the McFarland Mammography Department to schedule your exam. A physician referral is not required. 515-239-4456

Three steps to early detection: 

  • Yearly mammograms are recommended starting at age 40 and continuing for as long as a woman is in good health.
  • Clinical breast exam (CBE) about every 3 years for women in their 20s and 30s and every year for women 40 and over.
  • Women should know how their breasts normally look and feel and report any breast change promptly to their health care provider. Breast self-exam (BSE) is an option for women starting in their 20s.

Some women – because of their family history, a genetic tendency, or certain other factors – should be screened with MRI in addition to mammograms. (The number of women who fall into this category is small: less than 2% of all the women in the US.) Talk with your doctor about your history and whether you should have additional tests at an earlier age.

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